MONTVILLE, Conn. (KTSM) – UTEP legend Tim Hardaway will be enshrined into the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame on Saturday. The weekend of events began on Friday.
Hardaway and the rest of the Class of 2022 met with fans and media during an autograph session and press conference at the Mohegan Sun in Connecticut on Friday afternoon. There will be an Enshrinement Tip-Off Gala at the same venue on Friday evening.
During his press conference, Hardaway was asked about his famous “UTEP 2-Step” crossover move that became the trademark of his Hall of Fame career. The five-time All-Star and Olympic gold medalist said he crafted it in his basement during the cold Chicago winters of his youth.
“Nobody (today) has the Tim Hardaway crossover,” Hardaway said. “Sometimes you couldn’t go outside because it was too cold. So I would just go down into the basement and just dribble. I would imagine people that I was playing against and I was going through real-life action in the basement. So I guess that’s where the crossover came from, but I was just in there doing moves. The Tim Hardaway, killer crossover, no one has that today but there’s a lot of guys today with handles that I don’t want to guard.”
Hardaway played for the Miners under head coach Don Haskins from 1985-1989. Hardaway led the Miners to the NCAA Tournament in all four of his seasons in El Paso and carried UTEP to first round March Madness wins in 1987 and 1989.
He averaged 12.8 points and 4.5 assists per game over the course of his four years in El Paso, but was electric as a senior, as he put up 22 points and 5.4 assists per night.
Hardaway will join Haskins (1997), Nate “Tiny” Archibald (1991), Nolan Richardson (2014) and the 1966 national championship team as former Miners in the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame.
The man famous for his “UTEP 2-Step” will go into the Hall of Fame alongside Manu Ginobili, Bob Huggins, George Karl, Swin Cash, Del Harris, Lindsay Whalen, Larry Costello, Hugh Evans, Lou Hudson, Radivoje Korac, Marianne Stanley and Theresa Shank-Grentz.
After his time with the Miners, Hardaway was drafted in the first round, 14th overall, by the Golden State Warriors and almost immediately became a huge part of the Warriors’ “Run-TMC” lineup, alongside Mitch Richmond and Chris Mullin.
A five-time NBA All-Star, Hardaway was an All-NBA 1st team selection in 1997 with the Miami Heat and made 2nd team All-NBA three times (1992, 1998, 1999).
In his 15-year NBA career, Hardaway played for the Warriors, Heat, Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets and Indiana Pacers. He had career averages in the NBA of 17.7 points and 8.2 assists per game. When he retired, he ranked 11th all-time in career assists in the NBA. Now, he ranks 18th in that category.
The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame enshrinement will get underway on Saturday. tThe Enshrinement Red Carpet Show starts at 4 p.m. MT from Springfield, Mass. Then, from 5-8 p.m. MT, the Class of 2022 will be enshrined in the Hall of Fame. Both events will air live on NBATV.