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Rick Pitino Gains Election to Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame

Rick Pitino will join Hall in September

Win or lose at the Final Four, Louisville coach Rick Pitino will leave Atlanta with a greater legacy than the one he arrived with -- he has won induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, a source told ESPNNewYork.com on Friday.

[+] EnlargePitino Andy Lyons/Getty ImagesSoon-to-be Hall of Famer Rick Pitino is the only coach to have taken three schools to the Final Four. Louisville faces Wichita State on Saturday in Atlanta.

Pitino, 60, will be introduced with the rest of the 2013 Hall of Fame class Monday before a national championship game he hopes to be coaching in. His Cardinals will face Wichita State in Saturday's semifinals, and the winner will face the survivor of the Syracuse-Michigan game that follows.

Pitino is appearing in his seventh Final Four, and he's the only coach to have officially taken three schools to the national semifinals (John Calipari's trips with Massachusetts and Memphis were vacated by the NCAA as part of infractions penalties). Pitino won the national title with Kentucky in 1996, and his career collegiate record stands at 662-239.

Pitino made his first trip to the Final Four with Providence and star guard Billy Donovan in 1987. His eight years in the NBA included six as a head coach, two with the 24-win New York Knicks team he inherited and turned into a 52-win contender in 1989, and four with the 15-win Boston Celtics team he inherited and failed to rebuild before walking away in 2001.

Hall of Fame induction ceremonies will be held in September.

"It would mean a lot to me and my family," Pitino said recently of a possible induction, "but it really exemplifies what I've done for athletes and coaches. And if that day comes, it would mean a lot to share with them. So it's not something I think about, but it's something I would be very, very proud of."

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