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Four inducted into Men's Basketball Hall of Fame
 January 31, 2014

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The NJCAA national office announced Friday the NJCAA Men’s Basketball Coaches Association’s selections for the 2014 class of the NJCAA Men’s Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame. This year’s inductees include former players Kevin Gamble and Jeff Massey along with coaches Bill Muse and Richard Shilts.

Kevin Gamble – Player
Lincoln (Ill.)

Whether it be his talents on the court or his leadership off it, Kevin Gamble has found success at all levels of basketball. A two-year letterman at Lincoln, Gamble averaged 20.5 points, 9.7 rebounds and 3.7 assists during the 1984-85 season – earning NJCAA All-America honors as a sophomore. Following two years with the Lynx, the forward moved on to Iowa where he was an All-Big Ten and All-West Regional selection in 1986-87. Selected by the Portland with the 17th pick in the third round of the 1987 NBA Draft, Gamble went on to play 10 years in the league with the Trailblazers, Boston Celtics, Miami Heat and Sacramento Kings. He averaged 9.5 points and 2.2 rebounds for his career.

Following his NBA career, Gamble was named the first men’s basketball head coach of the Illinois-Springfield program in 2002. He led the Prairie Stars to seven successful seasons in the NAIA before their move up to NCAA Division II. After compiling a 130-111 record at Illinois-Springfield, Gamble moved on to the Big East Conference in 2009 where he served as Director of Player Development and Video Operations at Providence. In 2012, he followed former Friars head coach Keno Davis to Central Michigan where he is currently the highest ranking assistant on the staff.

Jeff Massey – Player
Owens (Ohio)

Leading Owens to a 72-3 record across two seasons and back-to-back NJCAA Division II national championships in 1992 and 1993, Jeff Massey is one of the most successful players to ever step foot on an NJCAA court. Massey was tabbed Tournament MVP in both championship runs to go along with being named an NJCAA first-team All-American and Region 12 Player of the Year in both of his seasons at Owens. Massey still holds 15 school records and his 1,894 career points are the ninth-most scored in over 75 years of NJCAA basketball.

Moving on to the NCAA in 1993, Massey became a star player at Xavier. Named the 1993-94 Midwestern Collegiate Conference Player of the Year, Massey led the Musketeers to NIT quarterfinals as a junior. The guard was named team captain his senior season and directed Xavier to the NCAA Tournament. Following professional stints in France and Poland, Massey returned to Owens in 2004 as director of basketball operations. He then began his coaching career in 2005, serving as an assistant at Robert Morris. Massey is now an assistant at St. Bonaventure where he has been since 2007. 

Bill Muse – Coach
Connors State (Okla.)

Over the last two decades, Bill Muse has been one of the most successful coaches in the NJCAA. Boasting a 484-189 record entering his 22nd season at Connors State, Muse ranking 27th among the winningest active NJCAA head coaches and 84th all-time. Earlier this month, Muse earned the 500th win of his career. Under his guidance, the Cowboys have claimed four 30-win seasons, six Region 2 titles and seven trips to the NJCAA DI National Championship – advancing to the semifinals three times. Among the players he has coached, four earned first-team All-America honors and 62 went on to play for NCAA Division I programs.

After receiving his bachelor’s degree at Ole Miss, Muse went on to South Alabama where he earned his master’s and served as an assistant from 1979-83. Before arriving in Warner, Okla., in 1992, Muse was also an assistant at Georgia State, Morehead State, South Alabama and Clemson. Outside of his coaching career, Muse is also the President of the Oklahoma Collegiate Athletic Conference (OCAC). 

Richard Shilts – Coach
Kalamazoo Valley (Mich.)

Richard Shilts established himself as one of the NJCAA’s premiere coaches for over three decades at Kalamazoo Valley. In 32 seasons at the helm, Shilts led the Cougars to eight (MCCAA) championships and an overall record of 650-319. Shilts was named Coach of the Year eight times and his 650 victories make him the 29th winningest NJCAA coach of all-time. In 2011 – his final year of coaching – Shilts directed Kalamazoo Valley to a 24-8 record and their first-ever appearance in the NJCAA DII National Championship.

Joining the Cougars staff in 1979, Shilts was hired as the college’s athletic director and head coach for the men’s basketball and golf teams. Shilts came from Western Michigan where he began his collegiate coaching career as an assistant in 1970 before being promoted to head coach in 1976.

Photos courtesy of the Boston Celtics, Xavier Athletics, Connors State Athletics and Kalamazoo Valley Athletics.

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