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This Day in Georgia History

October 02, 1998

Lenny Wilkens Inducted into NBA Hall of Fame as Coach

Atlanta Hawks coach Lenny Wilkens was inducted into the National Basketball Association Hall of Fame as the winningest coach in NBA history. Previously inducted as a player in 1989, Wilkins joined John Wooden as the only two men in history to be elected to the Hall of Fame as both a player and coach. Wilkins played college ball at Providence College before being drafted by the St. Louis Hawks. After the Hawks moved to Atlanta, Wilkins was traded to Seattle’s new expansion team in 1968. There, Wilkins became a player, and then coach, followed by coaching jobs at Portland and Cleveland. In 1993, he became coach of the Atlanta Hawks. In 1996, Wilkins coached the U.S. men’s basketball team in its gold-medal victory in the Atlanta Olympic games.