SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame recognized former Wayland Baptist coach Harley Redin with one of its highest honors here Thursday night.
Redin received the John W. Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award, the highest honor outside of enshrinement into the Hall of Fame. And, hopefully, that’s next on the list.
Redin, who turned 99 last month, was unable to attend the ceremony in Springfield. A video – including comments from Redin collected by a film crew that visited Redin in his Plainview home several weeks ago – was shown on a large screen as part of the recognition.
“When I started my coaching career at Wayland Baptist College back in 1946 – when we didn’t have an athletic program of any kind – I would never have dreamed of receiving such a high honor as the John W. Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award,” Redin said in the video.
“I’ve received many honors through the years, but the John Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award is right at the top. Thanks again to everyone.”
(The entirety of Redin’s comments can be found at the end of this article.).
Redin was represented at the ceremony by his two sons, Van and Kenny, as well as Kenny’s daughter, Jacqueline. WBU President Dr. Bobby Hall also attended, as did former Flying Queens Linda Pickens Price and Cherri Rapp.
“This was an exceptionally long overdue recognition for one of the most important figures in the history of women’s basketball,” Hall said. “Wayland, the Flying Queens and certainly the families involved are most appreciative of the recognition provided.”
Added Hall, “We hope to someday see the Flying Queens program inducted into the Hall of Fame, as it rightfully should be,”
The Flying Queens program has been a finalist for the Hall of Fame the past three years. Redin and numerous other Flying Queens are members of the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, located in Knoxville, Tenn.
Van Redin called Thursday “a great evening” and was most appreciative of the honor for his father.
“We rode on the bus next to all of the NBA greats as well as many famous college players and coaches. They all had high praise for Harley,” Van Redin said.
The 2018 Hall of Fame class will be inducted during festivities this weekend.
“When I started my coaching career at Wayland Baptist College back in 1946 – when we didn’t have an athletic program of any kind – I would never have dreamed of receiving such a high honor as the John W. Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award.
Some of the prior recipients were coaching colleagues or people I admired very much.
I especially want to thank John Doleva of the Hall of Fame and the selection committee for this award and add my congratulations to the induction class of 2018.
I’m grateful for the opportunity Wayland gave a young Marine veteran more than 70 years ago.
My family, friends and the Plainview community have always been great supporters. The success of the Flying Queens program would not have been possible without the great support of our sponsor, pilot and No. 1 fan, Claude Hutcherson.
I started playing basketball in Silverton, a tiny town in the Texas Panhandle, during the Depression. We were so poor, we didn’t even have air for the basketballs.
I was blessed to play for a great coach, W.J. Wisdom, at John Tarleton Junior College when they were in the middle of an 86-game winning streak. I could never have imagined coaching more than half the victories in a national record 131-game winning streak compiled by the Wayland Flying Queens from 1953-58.
Starting out coaching the Wayland men for the first nine years, I never expected to take over the women’s program, but that was both a challenge and a thrill.
I’m proud that we were the first college program to give full scholarships, allowing many young women a chance to play at the next level and to benefit from an excellent education.
More than their achievements on the court, I’m just as proud of their outstanding character and that almost everyone went on to become very successful in their professional field. Many of them gained some very high honors.
An extra plus is that we have remained good friends through the years.
It also was my honor to serve on several committees that helped shape or change the women’s game, including the transition to the 5-player game, the unlimited dribble and the 30-second clock.
I sort of regret getting out of coaching just ahead of the real elevation of the women’s game, but I’m thankful that Wayland and other teams laid the groundwork for future successes.
I’ve received many honors through the years, but the John Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award is right at the top.
Thanks again to everyone!”