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Nichols selected to Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame


Pictured here: Hank Nichols (right) at the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame announcement April 2 in New Orleans (AP Photo).

Villanova, Pa. – Dr. Henry “Hank” Nichols ’58 A&S, spent 33 years at Villanova University as a professor and later as chairman of the Education and Human Services Department.  He is also widely regarded as one of the pre-eminent college basketball officials the game has ever seen. On Monday, April 2, he was named as one of seven selections for the Class of 2012 to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. The announcement was made in New Orleans, the site of the 2012 NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four. Induction ceremonies will be held Sept. 7 at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass.

A native of Niagara Falls, N.Y., Nichols graduated from Villanova University in 1958 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. He played four years of baseball at Villanova, serving as team captain as a senior.

After graduation from Villanova and service to his country in the Marine Corps, Nichols played professional baseball with the Cincinnati Reds organization before returning to Villanova to obtain his master’s degree. He would go on to earn his doctorate from Duke University and join the faculty at Villanova University.

Serving as a men’s basketball official for nearly two decades, Nichols officiated 10 NCAA Final Fours, six national championship games, three NIT Tournament Finals and two Olympics. He retired from officiating at the age of 48 and was named the NCAA's first coordinator of officials. Nichols held that post for 22 years, during which time he oversaw NCAA rules and its officials.

Joining Nichols in Springfield will be fellow 2012 inductees Reggie Miller, Ralph Sampson, Don Nelson, Jamaal Wilkes, Katrina McClain and a representative of the All-American Red Heads, the first women's professional basketball team.

Among numerous awards, Nichols is also a member of the Philadelphia Athletic Hall of Fame, the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame, the Villanova Athletic Hall of Fame and the Philadelphia Big 5 Hall of Fame.