Pitcured: Tom "Satch" Sanders poses with Harvard head basketball coach Tommy Amaker at the team's annual banquet at the Harvard Club of Boston in 2010. (Harvard Athletics)
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Former Harvard University basketball coach Tom "Satch" Sanders was inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame at Symphony Hall over the weekend. The 72-year old Sanders, who led the Crimson for four years, from 1973-77, was inducted as a contributor to the game.
The well-dressed and always smooth-talking Sanders too the same approach to his Hall of Fame speech as he did while addressing members of the Crimson basketball family at its year-end banquet in 2010; he took the longstanding advice of for Sixers' player, Golden State coach and executive Al Attles, who once told him, "When you're speaking publicly, remember the three B's — be brief, brother."
Sanders' basketball career was anything but brief – spanning numerous decades as a player, coach and administrative development in the NBA. His number 16 jersey hangs from the rafters of the Boston Garden; he boasts eight NBA championship rings, from 1961-66 and 1968-69; he amassed 8,766 points and 5,798 rebounds in 916 games.
He is also remembered as the only person on record to tell the leader of the free world to "Take it easy, baby," as he did when the Celtics visited the White House in 1963 and he parted ways with president John F. Kennedy.
During his speech, he kept the fun going, poking fun at his presenter and former teammate Tom Heinsohn, saying, "Tom Heinsohn's passing ability has always been in question, but I really liked the way he passed me off just there — thanks."