ATLANTA (January 31, 2017) – Basketball Hall of Famers Ann Meyers Drysdale and Gary Williams were named the 2017 Naismith Outstanding Contributors to Men’s and Women’s Basketball, respectively, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced today. The awards are delivered by UPS, partner of the Naismith Awards since 2014.

First presented in 1982 to Curt Gowdy, the Naismith Outstanding Contributor to Basketball Award is presented annually to individuals whose extraordinary efforts have made contributions of outstanding significance and have created a long‐lasting positive impact on the game of basketball. The recipients display character, integrity and dignity, and have contributed mightily to the growth, success and viability of basketball. Voted on by the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s Board of Directors, Meyers Drysdale and Williams will be honored April 2 in Scottsdale, Ariz.

“I’m certainly honored and humbled to receive recognition from a game that has given me such great joy. There’s so many people who have contributed to put me in this position,” said Meyers Drysdale.  “To even be considered for the Naismith Outstanding Contributor to Women’s Basketball delivered by UPS Award is truly special to me, and I want to thank the Atlanta Tipoff Club for this honor.”

“I would like to thank the Atlanta Tipoff Club for presenting to me the 2017 Naismith Outstanding Contributor to Men’s Basketball delivered by UPS Award,” said Williams.  “This is a humbling award.  This sport has given me much more than I could ever give back to the great game of college basketball.  The contributions of my former players and coaches play a significant part in my receiving such a prestigious award. Thank you for this great honor.”

“Each year the Atlanta Tipoff Club is proud to honor the men and women who have made the game of basketball so special,” said Eric Oberman, executive director of the Atlanta Tipoff Club.  “Ann Meyers Drysdale paved the way for women in the game, while Gary Williams influenced hundreds of players in his three decades as a coach.”

About Ann Meyers Drysdale:

  • First high school student to play for the U.S. women’s national team (1974)
  • The first woman ever to earn a 4-year athletic scholarship (UCLA) and the first four-time All American
  • Broderick Award winner as the outstanding women’s college basketball player of the year (1978)
  • In 1976, she played on the first women’s USA Olympic basketball team – won silver
  • First player drafted into the Women’s Professional Basketball League (1978)
  • First, and only, woman to sign a contract in the NBA, doing so with the Indiana Pacers (1980)
  • Was inducted to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame (1993); was also inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame’s inaugural class in 1999
  • Won two WNBA titles while serving as the general manager for the Phoenix Mercury, and another one while in her current position as vice president for the team
2017Ann Meyers-Drysdale
2016Andy Landers
2015Lynnette Woodard
2014Nancy Lieberman
2013Pat Summitt
2012Teresa Edwards
2011Cheryl Miller
2010Marsha Sharp
2009Anne Donovan
2008Jody Conradt
2007Kay Yow
2006Val Ackerman
2005Leon Barmore
2004Sonja Hogg
2003Betty Jaynes
2002Billie Moore
2001Cathy Rush
2000Harley Redin
1993Margaret Wade

About Gary Williams:

  • The 3rd winningest coach all-time in the ACC behind only Dean Smith and Mike Krzyzewski
  • In his 31 years as a head coach, Williams amassed an overall record of 668-30, including 447–240 at Maryland, where he remains as the school’s winningest coach
  • Also coached at American, Boston College and Ohio State
  • Williams’ NCAA Tournament accomplishments include seven Sweet 16’s, two Elite Eights, two Final Fours, and the 2002 national championship
  • Won the ACC Tournament Championship in 2004 and ACC Regular Season Championship in 1995, 2002 and 2010
  • Named ACC Coach of the Year in 2002 and 2010
  • With Boston College he led the Eagles to the 1983 Big East Regular Season Championship
  • Was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2014 and the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in 2014
2017Gary Williams
2016Denny Crum
2015Bill Raftery
2014Bobby Cremins
2013Lute Olson
2012Don Meyer
2011Dick Enberg
2010John Thompson Jr.
2009Billy Packer
2008Dick Vitale
2007Bob Knight
2006Jerry Colangelo
2005Everett Case
2004George Killian
2003Charles "Lefty" Driesell
2002Don Haskins
2001Tex Winter
2000Bill Wall
1999C.M. Newton
1998Dean Smith
1997Phog Allen (in memory)
1996Boris Stankovic
1995Victor Bubas
1994Claire Bee (in memory)
1993Dave Gavitt
1992John McLendon
1991Clarence ÒBig HouseÓ Gaines
1990Frank McGuire
1989Nat Holman
1988Red Auerbach
1987Pete Newell
1986Adolph Rupp (in memory)
1985Hank Iba
1984Ray Meyer
1983John Wooden
1982Curt Gowdy


Founded during the 1956-57 season, the Atlanta Tipoff Club is committed to promoting the game of basketball and recognizing the outstanding accomplishments of those who make the game so exciting. The Atlanta Tipoff Club administers the Naismith Awards, which have become the most prestigious national honors in all of college basketball. Named in honor of Dr. James Naismith, inventor of the game of basketball, the Naismith Trophy recognizes the top Men’s and Women’s College Basketball Players of the Year. Other Naismith Awards are presented to the Men’s and Women’s College Basketball Coaches of the Year presented by Werner Ladder, Boy’s and Girl’s high school basketball players of the year presented by Hilton Worldwide, high school coaches of the year, basketball officials and overall contributors to the game. The Naismith Trophy was first presented to UCLA’s Lew Alcindor (later known as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) in 1969. Old Dominion’s Anne Donovan won the inaugural Women’s Naismith Trophy in 1983.  For more information, visit

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Traci Messier