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Donnie Walsh to be inducted in the NYC Basketball Hall of Fame

HOWIE EVANS AmNews Sports Editor | 7/14/2011, 1:13 p.m.

Donnie Walsh was so focused on his job building the Knicks into a perennial playoff contender that numerous times during his tenure he said "No" on being voted into the New York City Basketball Hall of Fame.

But not this year. Walsh has completed what he started when he was hired by James Dolan, executive chairman of Madison Square Garden, as his president of basketball operations. On Thursday, Sept. 22, he will join former longtime Knicks trainer Mike Saunders as inductees into the 2011 class of the New York City Basketball Hall of Fame in a ceremony held at the New York Athletic Club on Central Park South at 59th Street.

The Knicks twosome will be part of a trio of former Knicks, joined by John Warren, a member of the Knicks 1969-70 NBA championship team. Warren and another "Johnnie," the late Lloyd "Sonny" Dove will also be inducted into the hall of fame.

Also joining the 2011 class are the young lady known as "Lady Pearl," Debbie Mason, the former All-America from Queens College; Kenny Charles, an All-America at Fordham University; and Tom Henderson, an All-America from the University of Hawaii and an all-city performer from DeWitt Clinton H.S. in the Bronx.

Coach Jim Larranaga, who led his George Mason team to the second round of the 2011 NCAA Division 1 Basketball Tournament, was voted into the New York City Basketball Hall of Fame selection committee.