Jerry Tarkanian reportedly heading to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame

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Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

Former UNLV head coach Jerry Tarkanian watches as the Runnin’ Rebels take on UNR Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013 at the Thomas & Mack. UNLV won the game 66-54.

Jerry Tarkanian

Jerry Tarkanian is seen between games in the inaugural  Jerry Tarkanian Classic Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012. Launch slideshow »

Jerry Tarkanian. Hall of famer.

That’s the newest title for the legendary coach, who had been trying to receive the distinction for more than 20 years after taking UNLV to four Final Fours, including one national championship.

CBSSports.com reported Friday morning that Tarkanian will be a member of the 2013 class inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. Rick Pitino reportedly is also in. The official announcement will be Monday at the Final Four in Atlanta. Tarkanian is already there and was unavailable for comment.

Despite his success at UNLV, and Long Beach State before that, this was the first year Tarkanian was a finalist for the Hall. One of 12 to make that cut, he had to receive at least 18 of 24 votes from the Hall committee in order to be inducted. The ceremony is Sept. 8 in Springfield, Mass.

"I am elated for Coach Tark and his family," said current UNLV coach Dave Rice, who played for Tarkanian. "It is a great day for Runnin' Rebel fans and for all of Coach Tark's former coaches and players."

The long wait is widely believed to be due to Tarkanian’s many public battles with the NCAA. One of the first public figures to point out some of the NCAA’s many flaws, he seemed to find himself in the organization’s crosshairs often.

Tarkanian wasn’t able to travel to the Final Four last year because of a respiratory condition, and health issues have been a battle for him the past couple of years. He was able to make the trip this year, though, and on Monday will hear the official word in person.

The Hall was the last battle Tarkanian was still waging on a basketball court, and finally it appears he has won.

Taylor Bern can be reached at 948-7844 or [email protected]. Follow Taylor on Twitter at twitter.com/taylorbern.

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  1. Tark deserved this honor for all that he has done for the Rebels on the court. The numbers tells all.

    Especially how the game of today is played. The Rebels were playing pressure and transition basketall long before anyone else.

    That's Rebel basketball.

    Tark said...Your welcome College Basketball!

  2. It's about time.

  3. This is long overdue. Congrats to a great coach, a good man, and his family! I'm so happy that he's finally getting what he has long deserved. He transformed college basketball.

  4. Tark is who made UNLV. If it had not been for Robert Maxson and Steve Wynn, Tark could have had 900 wins easily.

  5. Now we just need a statue of Coach in front of the Mack.

  6. Made my day. Congrats Coach Tark. You are the man! Way overdue and well deserved.

  7. Woohoo! well deserved.

  8. A great day for rebel fans!! Congrats coach!

  9. Congrats Coach Tarkanian. You are my favorite basketball coach of all time, college or NBA. You deserve it.

  10. Congrats to a guy who should have been in years ago.

    Homer: how is all that hopey changey stuff workin' out for ya???

  11. Some one tried to get millions for the hot tub photo negatives... I wonder if they will show up back on Ebay?

    http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2009/jan...

  12. It's an absolute travesty of justice that it has taken this long. Congrats Coach. We love ya

  13. Nothing to say here, he was the best plain and simple.