I think the bigger story here is that Griff wasn't already in the College Basketball Hall of Fame. You would assume that a player who played his last game in 1980 and who pops up on any and all "best college player ever" lists would have already been enshrined in one of the first eight classes, but I suppose you'd be wrong.
Here's the press release on the news:
Darrell Griffith, a national player of the year and consensus All-American at the University of Louisville, is part of the 2014 induction class for the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame announced on Tuesday.
The Louisville, Ky., native is part of a star-studded Class of 2014 that will be inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame on Nov. 23 at the Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland in Kansas City as part of a three-day celebration of college basketball. Tickets for the event go on sale in September.
The Hall of Fame is located in the College Basketball Experience (CBE), a world-class entertainment facility adjacent to Sprint Center in Kansas City.
Joining Griffith are All-Americans Shaquille O'Neal of LSU and Duke's Grant Hill; NAIA star Zelmo Beaty from Prairie View; two-time NCAA Final Four coach Dale Brown of LSU and NCAA Final Four Coach Gary Williams of Maryland; and, contributors Howard Garfinkel, the founder of the Five-Star Basketball Camp, and Glenn Wilkes, Sr., long-time coach at Stetson and prolific author of basketball coaching books.
Griffith, who earned the prestigious Wooden Award that identifies the best player in college basketball in 1980, delivered Louisville its first NCAA title that season. He scored 23 points in the championship game over UCLA and was named the Final Four's Most Outstanding Player. That year, Griffith was named a consensus All-American in addition to being tabbed The Sporting News Player of the Year.
His jersey number, 35, was retired during ceremonies after the 1980 season. It is on permanent display at the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.
Famously known as Dr. Dunkenstein, Griffith finished his career as the school's career scoring leader (2,333 points), becoming the first to surpass the 2,000-point mark. He totaled 825 points his senior season, making him the first and only player at UofL to surpass 700 points in a single year. Impressively, he concluded his tenure at Louisville scoring in double figures in 111 of his 126 contests, including his last 41 straight.
Louisville experienced a wealth of success with Griffith. The Cardinals registered a 101-25 record, while achieving two regular season Metro Conference titles, two Metro Tournament championships, and four-straight NCAA Tournament appearances that include the 1980 national title in which the Cardinals posted a 33-3 record.
"The Class of 2014 has a unique identity with a player-coach tandem, along with three outstanding players and a coach who led their teams to national championships," said Reggie Minton, deputy executive director of the National Association of Basketball Coaches and chair of the Hall of Fame selection panel. "With the addition of two men devoted to developing basketball skills at summer camps for close to a half-century, we look forward to celebrating them at the induction in Kansas City in November."
Griffith joins a pair of Cardinals in former head coach Denny Crum and All-American Wes Unseld, who both were members of the Class of 2006.
In 2006, the first class was inducted into the newly formed National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame. That class included the game's inventor, James Naismith, and possibly its greatest coach in John Wooden, along with Oscar Robertson, Bill Russell and Dean Smith. Since that time, seven more classes have been inducted and have included the likes of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Danny Manning, Larry Bird and Earvin "Magic" Johnson.