The NJCAA Men's Basketball Coaches Association announced its 2016 Hall of Fame class Thursday. This year's inductees include former Hinds (Miss.) forward Alonzo Bradley, former Eastfield (Texas) head coach Bob Flickner and current Garrett (Md.) head coach Dennis Gibson.
Player – Hinds (MS)
While attending Hinds Community College (formerly Utica Junior College) from 1973-75, Alonzo Bradley caught the attention of many four-year programs. As a result of his success athletically and academically, Bradley garnered numerous awards including being twice named to the NJCAA All-America team and earning the Governor's Merit Award of Excellence in 1975.
In spite of more prestigious programs looking to sign the Utica star, Bradley decided to follow his coach, Robert Moreland, to Texas Southern University.
While at Texas Southern, Bradley continued to make a name for himself as he averaged 25.1 points and 8.1 rebounds a game as he led the team to consecutive NAIA national tournament appearances.
During his senior season, Bradley led Texas Southern a 26-5 mark before making a run during the national tournament and advancing to the championship game where they steamrolled past Campbell, 77-44, and finished the season with a 31-5 record.
With the 1977 national title in hand, Bradley earned tournament MVP honors and was ultimately named NAIA Player of the Year.
The Indiana Pacers selected Bradley with the 29th overall pick of the 1977 NBA Draft before being traded to the Houston Rockets, where he would spend the majority of his NBA career.
Bradley's most productive season in the NBA came in his rookie year. Although he never started a game, Bradley made 43 games appearances that season and averaged 18.6 minutes. That season Bradley averaged seven points per game and dished out 54 total assists. After retiring from the NBA, Bradley spent some time as a head coach with the Galveston Storm of the Southwest Basketball League.
With his bachelor's degree from Texas Southern in Business Administration and Computer Science, Bradley has had the opportunity to work at Unisys Space Systems. There he has served as the Senior Software Engineer for NASA Shuttle and Station activities, Unisys Chairman of the Board along with being President and Vice President of the National Association of Security Dealers (NASD).
To date, Bradley has been inducted in the Hinds Community College Sports Hall of Fame, Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) Hall of Fame and Texas Southern University Tiger Athletics Hall of Fame.
Coach – Eastfield (TX)
In 23 seasons at the helm of the Eastfield men's basketball program, Flickner enjoyed a successful career as he collected 423 victories, amassed a Metro Conference record of 178-44 and coached nine NJCAA All-Americans and three NJCAA Academic Student-Athlete Award winners.
At the height of his tenure, Flickner helped orchestrate Eastfield to 12 consecutive conference championships as his teams claimed a total of 15 in a stretch of 16 years. Conference success was not the limit for Flickner and the Harvesters as they routinely appeared in the national tournament from 1986 to 1998.
In 1997, Eastfield reached the pinnacle as the Flickner-led team defeated Jefferson (N.Y.), 79-75. Following that season, Flickner, who earned multiple NJCAA Region 5 Coach of the Year honors during his career, was announced as the NJCAA Division III Coach of the Year.
Serving as an assistant in 1970 for his alma mater, Bethel College (Kan.), Flickner began his career in coaching. Two years later, Flickner became a graduate assistant for the University of Kansas and was part of the 1974 team that reached the NCAA Final Four. In 1976, Flickner relocated to Mesquite, Texas, to begin his 23-year run with Eastfield.
During his time with Eastfield, Flickner was instrumental in leading the Dallas County Community College District to joining the NJCAA. Additionally, Flickner served as the director of athletics for 14 years and was the NJCAA Region 5 representative for several years.
Coach – Garrett (MD)
Dennis Gibson is a well-known name around the Garrett College community and the West Maryland region. Gibson has done it all, from his playing days at Garrett, to being hired as an assistant in 1978, to his 29 seasons and counting as head coach of the Lakers men's basketball program.
Despite having never played high school basketball, Gibson eventually became a starter by his sophomore season with the Lakers and helped guide them a 17-9 record. Gibson then continued his athletic and academic career at Bridgewater College (Va.) where he received Second Team All-Old Dominion Athletic Conference honors.
After serving seven seasons as Garrett's assistant coach, Gibson was promoted to head coach in 1985. Success for new head coach came quickly as Gibson's first team opened the season with an eight-game win streak, a school record that stood until 2003.
During the 1994-95 campaign, Gibson and his Lakers made school-history as the first team to win the Maryland Junior College Athletic Conference (MD JUCO) and NJCAA Region 20 tournament in the same season. With the region tournament victory, Garrett advanced to the NJCAA Division II Men's Basketball Championship and finished the season ranked sixth overall. In 2002-03, the Lakers again captured the Region XX championship after making the jump to Division I.
The men's basketball team at Garrett has set a number of school-records under Gibson, including most wins in a single season and highest-team scoring average. They have also knocked off the No. 1 ranked team in the nation on three separate occasions.
Throughout his tenure with the Lakers, Gibson has placed more than 30 student-athletes to the All-Region XX and the All-MD JUCO teams, respectively. Additionally, the veteran coach has never finished a season with less than 19 wins.
In 2015, Gibson's contributions and service were recognized by the institution as he was a member of the inaugural class inducted into the Garrett College Athletics Hall of Fame.