Lynn Greer, Jameer Nelson, Randy Foye among those named to Big 5 Hall of Fame
Guards Lynn Greer of Temple, Jameer Nelson of St. Joseph's and Randy Foye of Villanova are among seven individuals named for induction into the Big 5 Hall of Fame.
Three players who led their teams to the Elite Eight of the NCAA tournament – guards Lynn Greer of Temple, Jameer Nelson of St. Joseph's and Randy Foye of Villanova – were among seven individuals announced Thursday for induction into the Big Five Hall of Fame.
Also named for induction were Ibrahim "Ibby" Jaaber of Penn, Carlene Hightower of La Salle, former Villanova player and assistant coach George Raveling, and long-time Inquirer columnist Bill Lyon.
The seven newest members of the Hall will be inducted during a ceremony on April 17 at the Palestra.
Greer, who played at Temple from 1997 through 2002, finished his career as the program's No. 2 all-time leading scorer with 2,099 points and set records for three-point percentage (47.2) and free-throw accuracy (85.2 percent). The Engineering and Science High School graduate was a member of NCAA Elite Eight teams in 1999 and 2001 and led the Owls to the NIT final four in 2002, his senior season, when he averaged 23.2 points and was named the Big Five's most valuable player.
Nelson, who starred at Chester High, is the top scorer (2,094 points) and assists man (713) in the history of the Hawks, for whom he played from 2000 to 2004. As a senior, he averaged 20.6 points in 2003-04 and won numerous national player of the year awards, while leading St. Joseph's to 27 consecutive wins, a No. 1 national ranking and an Elite Eight berth. He made the All-Big 5 team in each of his four seasons and was Big 5 MVP in 2003 and 2004. A first-round pick in the 2004 NBA Draft, Nelson is currently in his 13th season, competing with the Denver Nuggets.
Foye, of Newark, N.J., scored 1,966 points in a Villanova career that went from 2002 through 2006. As a senior, he averaged 20.5 points, made numerous All-America teams, and was named Big Five Player of the Year while leading the Wildcats into the Elite Eight of the NCAA tournament. He was the seventh overall pick in the 2006 NBA draft and is currently in his 11th season, now playing with the Brooklyn Nets.
Jaaber, of Elizabeth, N.J., scored 1,518 points in his career and helped lead Penn to three straight Ivy League championships (2005-07), a span in which the Quakers were 38-4 in league play. He won Ivy player of the year honors twice and was named the 2007 Big 5 MVP. He graduated as the league's career leader in steals.
Hightower, a graduate of Archbishop Prendergast High who played at La Salle from 2004 through 2008, finished ninth on the Explorers' all-time points list with 1,425 and was named 2008 Big Five player of the year. She averaged 17.5 and 17.9 points in her final two seasons and was named first-team All-Atlantic 10 and All-Big Five in both of those years.
Raveling, a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, played at Villanova from 1957 through 1960 and became one of the top rebounders in school history. He averaged 16.5 rebounds as a junior and 13.1 rebounds as a senior, playing a key role in the Wildcats' NIT appearances in each of those seasons. He later became an assistant coach to Jack Kraft at Villanova, launching a coaching career in which he served as head coach at Washington State, Iowa and Southern California. He is now a basketball executive for Nike.
Lyon, who worked at the Inquirer for more than 30 years before his retirement in 2005, is a seven-time Pennsylvania Sportswriter of the Year winner and a six-time Pulitzer Prize nominee. He was inducted into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame in 1999 and into the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame in 2006. In addition to writing about the Big Five and the NCAA tournament, Lyon covered the World Series, Super Bowl, NBA and NHL finals, championship boxing events, the Kentucky Derby and the Masters, among other assignments.