Joe Dean to miss college hall of fame induction due to illness

Former LSU athletic director and basketball star Joe Dean is being inducted Sunday into the College Basketball Hall of Fame in Kansas City, Mo.

Unfortunately for Dean, a recent illness will prevent him from attending.

Dean’s son, Joe Dean Jr., will accept in his father’s place, according to LSU senior associate athletic director Herb Vincent.

Dean, 82, was hospitalized for several days before being released and allowed to return to his Baton Rouge home late last week. However, Dean was prohibited from traveling for the ceremony.

Vincent said a delegation from LSU would accompany Joe Dean Jr. to Kansas City.

A bespeckled 6-foot-3 guard from New Albany, Ind., Dean was a two-time All-Southeastern Conference selection in 1951 and 1952. He was then drafted in the first round by the Indianapolis Olympians, the first LSU player ever selected in the NBA draft.

Dean later embarked on long careers as an executive with Converse from 1959-87 and as a basketball TV commentator on NBC, Turner Sports and with ESPN.

In 1987, he returned to LSU as athletic director, a position in which he served until 2000.

Joining Dean in this year’s induction class are former Georgetown All-America center Patrick Ewing; 1978 national player of the year Phil Ford of North Carolina; former Kentucky coach Joe B. Hall; Host Communications founder Jim Host; long-time Virginia Union coach Dave Robbins; and former Wyoming standout Kenny Sailors, credited as inventor of the modern jump shot.

Dean is the third former LSU player to be inducted into the hall. Pete Maravich and Bob Pettit were part of the hall of fame’s inaugural class in 2006.