Zydrunas Ilgauskas

Induction Year : 2021

Sport: Basketball

Zydrunas llgauskas was drafted by the Cavaliers as the 20th overall pick in the 1996 NBA Draft and went on to play 12 seasons for the Wine and Gold, averaging 13.8 points, 7.7 rebounds and 1.7 blocks over a then-team record 771 games played.

The 7-3 center from Lithuania was twice an NBA All-Star (2003, 2005), a member of Cleveland’s back-to-back 60-win teams (66-16 in 2008-09; 61-21 in 2009-10), and six playoff teams, including the franchise’s first ever NBA Finals appearance in 2007.

llgauskas retired in 2011 and remains the Cavaliers’ all-time leader in offensive rebounds (2,336) and blocked shots (1,269) while ranking second in points scored (10,616), total rebounds (5,904), games played (771) and minutes (21,820), third in free throws made (2,495), and defensive rebounds (3,568) and fourth in field goals made (4,045). llgauskas is the only player in franchise history to accumulate 10,000 points, 5,000 rebounds and 1,000 blocks over his career.

Z’s number 11 jersey is now retired and hangs in the rafters at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse.

Larry Nance

Induction Year : 2021

Sport: Basketball

Nance played his final seven NBA seasons for the Cleveland Cavaliers (1987-1994) after a six-year stint with the Phoenix Suns.

Known as “Leapin’ Larry” for the dunking prowess that made him the first-ever NBA Slam Dunk Champion in 1984 and for his strong shot-blocking skills, Nance made three NBA All-Star teams (1985, 1989, 1993), including twice with Cleveland. He helped the Wine & Gold reach the postseason six times. Nance appeared in 433 regular season games with the Cavaliers, averaging 16.8 points on .530 shooting from the field, 8.2 rebounds, 2.6 assists and a team-record 2.5 blocks. Among the franchise’s all-time leaders, Nance ranks third in blocked shots (1,087) and field goal percentage (.530), ninth in points scored (7,257), rebounds (3,561) and field goals made (2,945), and 10th in minutes {(14,966) and free throws made (1,364). The 6-10 forward remains the lone player in Cavaliers history to make the NBA All-Defensive Team three times (1989, 1992 and 1993).

Larry’s number 22 jersey hangs in the rafters at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, while his son, Larry, Jr., now proudly wears 22 and continues the Nance legacy with the Cavaliers.

Tony Miller

Induction Year : 2019

Sport: Basketball Football

Tony Miller remains to this day one of the best all-around athletes produced by Cleveland’s athletic-rich Villa Angela-St. Joseph High School.

Born in Cleveland on April 16, 1973, Tony first made his mark in football, becoming the starting quarterback in his sophomore season, succeeding the heralded Elvis Grbac. As a junior, Tony led the VASJ Vikings to the 1989 Ohio state football championship in Division II, a time when the state football tournament was sub-divided into only three divisions. Today, the state football tournament consists of seven divisions. That remains VASJ’s only football title.

Tony excelled equally in basketball. He was a four-year starting point guard and led the Vikings to the Division I state championship in 1992. He was the captain of both football and basketball teams.

He was not heavily recruited for basketball because it was believed he intended to play football in college, which was not the case. Marquette basketball coach Kevin O’Neil, however, was persistent and landed Tony as his star recruit. Tony actually exceeded expectations. He was the starting point guard for all four years from the beginning of the season in 1991 to the end of the season in 1995. He was the catalyst for Marquette’s back-to-back NCAA tournament teams. In 1994, Tony was the primary reason Marquette could break Kentucky’s full-court press and advance to the sweet sixteen. The next year, with Tony again in the starring role, Marquette reached the championship game of the NIT tournament.

For his college career, Tony averaged 8.3 points and 7.8 assists. His total of 956 assists ranks eighth all-time in Division I college history.

Tony continued to play professionally for 13 years, mostly overseas in Belgium, Lithuania, the Netherlands, and England. He was an all-star in the Dutch League.

After returning to the United States, Tony coached at Southern Cal, St. John Bosco High School in Bellflower, Cal., and Cal State Los Angeles. He is now retired.

He was inducted into the Marquette Hall of Fame in 2011.

Gordon Gund

Induction Year : 2017

Sport: Basketball

The Gund Family has always meant a lot to Cleveland. Its Gund Foundation was at the forefront of the area’s philanthropic organizations.

But Gordon Gund, along with brother, George, will also be credited for salvaging professional basketball in Northeast Ohio by purchasing the Cleveland Cavaliers in 1983. The team had been rumored for a possible move to Toronto.

Under Gordon Gund, the Cavaliers established themselves as playoff contenders, with fan loyalty at the Richfield Coliseum remaining strong when the team relocated to the new Gund Arena in 1994. The franchise consistently ranked among the NBA’s leaders in attendance as stability remained consistent.

With the drafting of LeBron James in 2003, the popularity of the team soared. Although he sold controlling interest of the team 2005, Gund remained a minority owner and was able to enjoy the satisfaction of the 2016 NBA championship.

The Gund’s also owned the WNBA’s Cleveland Rockers women’s basketball team.

While the stint was brief, the Gunds owned the NHL’s Cleveland Barons for the 1977-78 season before the club was merged with the North Stars and moved to Minnesota. Gordon was a partial owner of the expansion San Jose Sharks in 1991, selling his share of that team in 2002.

A 1961 graduate of Harvard University, he was Chairman and CEO of Gund Investment Corporation, based in Princeton, N.J., since 1968.

In dealing with personal health issues, he was the co-founder and Chairman Emeritus of the Foundation Fighting Blindness of Columbia, MD. The national non-profit organization is dedicated to seeking the causes, treatments and/or cures for retinitis pigmentosa, age-related macular degeneration and associated degenerative diseases.

Gordon Gund became a noted sculptor, working meticulously in bronze and clay. Along with wife, Lulie, the couple have two children.

Karen Wittrock

Induction Year : 2016

Sport: Basketball

A girls basketball coaching legend, Karen Wittrock, 71, compiled a record of 657 wins and 198 losses in 41 years as the girls basketball coach at Lutheran West High School in Rocky River. She ranks fourth in career victories on Ohio’s all-time girls coaches’ list.

Not only was she the first girls basketball coach at Lutheran West, she was the first coach in every girls sport there.

When Karen arrived at Lutheran West fresh out of Concordia Teachers College in Nebraska in 1967, Lutheran West had no girls sports teams. She must have felt like a fish out of water. In college at Concordia, she was the athlete of the year, earning letters in basketball, softball, field hockey and track. Her pioneer instincts immediately kicked in.

Karen started the entire girls sports program, starting with basketball. Nothing was easy. Her girls team was not permitted to practice in the main gym. They used the hallways to practice dribbling and passing but not shooting. They pretended to shoot layups at an imaginary basket. They bought their own uniforms, raising money through car washes and bake sales. They rented practice time at a nearby recreation center. Today the gym is named after her, referred to as the “Rock,” her college nickname.

Next she started field hockey, track and softball for girls. Soon she added volleyball and cross country. She coached them all. Later she coached the boys golf team.

She is forever identified with basketball, however. He teams won seven district tournament championships and 21 conference titles. Her teams experienced only two losing seasons. The Ohio High School Athletic Association honored her four times with its prestigious James Naismith Meritorious Service Award. She was the Ohio girls coach of the year four times and conference coach of the year 20 times.

Tonight marks her induction into her fourth hall of fame, including the Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame which included her in its 2006 inaugural class.

She has twice fought off cancer but refuses to slow down. She still fills in regularly as a substitute teacher in math and phys ed at Lutheran West. She takes vacation trips in her motor home to Florida where she visits a brother and to her native Missouri to visit other family members. She enjoys those quiet moments when she drops a line in the river.

Mike Moran

Induction Year : 2016

Sport: Basketball

Mike Moran is a marathon man among Ohio basketball coaches.

The head coach of John Carroll University’s men’s team, Moran has been winning games and molding young athletes on Buckeye hardwood courts for 45 seasons.

Later this year he will celebrate his silver anniversary campaign at John Carroll. Previously, he was the head coach at St. Joseph High School for 11 years where he won two state championships. There were also nine seasons of freshman and junior varsity coaching at St. Joe’s and Cincinnati Elder.

As a head varsity coach at John Carroll and St. Joseph, Moran has won 667 games. While scholastic freshman and junior varsity records are sketchy, it’s believed Moran has won more than 750 basketball contests.

Moran, a 1973 graduate of Xavier University, is the winningest (443 games) and longest serving head coach in John Carroll basketball history.

He is coming off a season in which his Blue Streaks set a school standard with 21 consecutive victories on their way to a 26-4 record, the second winningest season in the annals of JCU basketball, a program that dates back to 1919.

Moran has won 10 Ohio Athletic Conference regular season championships and four OAC tournament titles.

His outstanding work has been copied at the highest level of collegiate basketball. Two seasons ago, Kentucky coach John Calipari adopted Moran’s “five in, five out” platoon system.

Moran not only wins basketball games, he makes basketball coaches out of players. More than 50 of those who played for Moran have gone on to emulate their former head coach. Many cite his enthusiasm for the game that he loves as their motivation to get into coaching.

Moran and his wife, JoAnn, live in Russell Township. They have six children and 14 grandchildren.

Elmore Smith

Induction Year : 2014

Sport: Basketball

Elmore Smith was one of the greatest shot blockers in NBA history during his eight-year career in pro basketball from 1971 to 1979. Twice he finished as the league leader in blocked shots and set a single game record of 17 in one game, a mark which still stands 40 years later. He spent two seasons each with the Buffalo Braves, Los Angeles Lakers, Milwaukee Bucks and Cleveland Cavaliers.

The seven-footer’s name will always be associated with the greatest big men in basketball history, known as “Elmore the Rejector,” he was drafted by the Buffalo Braves and after two seasons was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers to replace Wilt Chamberlain. Two years later the Lakers traded him to Milwaukee for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Cleveland acquired him to replace Nate Thurmond as the backup center.

Although he had grown to seven feet tall by the time he was in high school in Macon, Ga, his career did not look promising. Only three colleges recruited him. He enrolled at Wiley College where the coach told him he probably never would get to play. Wiley had not won a game in three years. So Elmore transferred to Kentucky State which went on to win two straight NAIA national championships and Elmore was a two-time All-American.

He was the third player picked in the 1971 NBA draft and signed a multi-million dollar contract with Buffalo. For his career he averaged 13.4 points per game and 10.6 rebounds. Knee surgery in October, 1978, hastened his retirement. He remained in Cleveland and now, at the age of 65, lives in Beachwood. He is frequently seen at Cavs games. He also has a line of barbeque sauce available in many retail stores. Cleveland was by far the best experience, he once said, ” The guys I played with were all good friends and we stay in touch.”

Bob Beutel

Induction Year : 2014

Sport: Basketball

Bob Beutel is the quintessential triple threat. He was an outstanding high school athlete. He was an outstanding collegiate athlete. Today, he is an outstanding scholastic coach.

His treble of excellence spans nearly 50 years and includes performances that earned Beutel national recognition on the football field as well as a place in the Ohio High School Athletic Association’s girls’ basketball  recordbook.

A native of Willowick, Beutel attended Eastlake North High School (Class of 1968) where he excelled in football and basketball, earning All-Ohio honors in both sports. He was recruited to play basketball at Ohio State University, but decided to play football at Big Ten rival Northwestern.

The decision worked out quite well. Beutel earned Big Ten honors as well as being named an ABC- TV National Player of the Week. He led the Wildcats in tackles in 1972 and ranked third in The Big Ten in that category in the same season.

When his playing days were over, Beutel took his bachelor’s degree in education and returned to his alma mater where he coached North’s girls basketball team for 25 years. His Lady Rangers compiled a record of 461-134 with 12 district titles and two trips to the state tournament’s final four.

Beutel considers coaching his daughters, Britt and Brooke, as one of the highlights of his career.

After spending a combined 40 years as student and a teacher in the Willoughby-Eastlake school system, Beutel retired in 2005. But not for long. A year later, he was approached and accepted the head coaching job of the girls’ basketball team at Gilmour Academy. In eight years, he has led the Lady Lancers to a record of 144-47.

Beutel’s second bite of the apple has lifted his career coaching victory total to 605, which ranks him seventh on the all-time list of Ohio girls’ basketball coaches.

Beutel and his wife Claudia live in Chardon.

Harry Weltman

Induction Year : 2013

Sport: Basketball

Harry Weltman was many and most things.

The graduate of Glenville High (1950) and Baldwin-Wallace College (1954) earned playing honors in basketball, baseball and football. But that athletic prowess was just the prelude for a life in sports.

He will always be remembered in Cleveland for masterminding the turnaround of the Cavaliers after taking over as general manager of the downtrodden franchise in 1982. The Cavaliers reached the playoffs for the first time in seven years when Weltman’s moves paid off in 1985.
During that time he coined “Cavs” as the most-often used moniker for the team, citing it because he considered the nickname “punchy and strong.”

His reign in Cleveland ended after the 1985-86 season. He was general manager of the New Jersey Nets from 1987 to 1990.

Before returning to his hometown, Weltman guided the Spirits of St. Louis of the American Basketball Association from 1973 to 1976.
He was instrumental in sports television programming before that.

After a two-year tour in the Army, he honed his marketing skills in advertising positions in New York. He was on the ground floor in helping fledgling NFL Films establish itself from 1965 to 1970, lending expertise in creating the format for “This Week in Pro Football” and other NFL properties.

He went on to develop film projects for the National Hockey League, Major League Baseball, network television and numerous advertising agencies.

After leaving professional basketball, he worked as an investment adviser and became president of Caliper Sports Inc., a psychological profiler for professional and college sports teams. Weltman and wife, Rosemary, live in Pepper Pike.

Earl Boykins

Induction Year : 2013

Sport: Basketball

The National Basketball Association is indeed a league for big men. But the measure isn’t always for height. There is also a check for heart.

For 13 seasons, Earl Boykins displayed plenty of heart. At 5 feet, 5 inches, he is the second shortest player in NBA history. His lack of height never held him back. He mixed it with the big boys, even dunking on them.

Boykins, who played professionally at a feathery 133 pounds (yet he bench pressed 315 pounds), didn’t let the fact that he wasn’t drafted derail his dream of a big league career. He spent 13 years in the NBA, appearing in 587 games for nine teams, included the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Twice in 2007, while starring for the Milwaukee Bucks, Boykins tossed in a career high 36 points. Two years earlier, also with the Bucks, he scored 15 points in an overtime period, breaking the NBA record of 14 points that had stood for 21 years. Boykins’ mark fell the following season when Washington’s Gilbert Arenas netted 16 points in overtime.

Boykins never let his lack of height stop from excelling. Or elevating. Videos of Boykins’ NBA dunks have registered nearly a million hits on YouTube.

Boykins began his road to professional stardom at Cleveland Central High School in the city’s historic Slavic Village.

He then headed for Eastern Michigan University where he played for the Eagles from 1994 through 1998. Boykins earned All-Mid-American Conference first-team honors in both his junior and senior years. He continues to be EMU’s all-time leader in career assists with 624, more than 100 assists clear of the second ranked Eagle.

One of the highlights of Boykins’ college career came in an opening round game of the 1996 NCAA tournament when Eastern Michigan upset Duke 75-60 in a Southeast Regional game at the RCA Dome in Indianapolis. Boykins scored 23 points.

Eastern Michigan honored Boykins in 2011 when it retired his No. 11 jersey and raised it to the rafters of the Convocation Center.