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WXOU Sports Profile: ABHOF Press Notes

Established in 2019, the American Basketball Hall of Fame was designed to bring awareness to basketball greats at all levels of the sport, whether it be a Rucker Park playground legend, or a Hall of Fame, championship-winning coach. Founded by Harlem Globetrotter great Lamont “ShowBoat” Robinson, this grassroots organization has made great strides in connecting people to unsung heroes and giving well-known Midwest basketball legends a platform to tell their stories and display their love for basketball.

Today’s press conference was to narrow the field of 50 nominees for the class of 2024, picking from the likes of Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Chuck Daly, and Bobby Knight. After his induction in 2023, Oakland University head coach Greg Kampe successfully lobbied to have 2024’s press conference take place at Oakland University. The events were hosted by Oakland’s director of broadcasting Neal Ruhl.

Following today’s events, WXOU had the opportunity to sit down with Coach Kampe to talk about his own induction and the season so far.

WXOU: What were your initial thoughts and feelings after being inducted last year?

Greg Kampe: Well, it was undoubtedly an exciting feeling. What was more awe-inspiring was the number of basketball greats that I was nominated with. You take a step back and you say that this is such a great accomplishment. Not necessarily for me, but for Oakland University and for our athletic program. It’s a testament to a tremendous amount of hard work and dedication that everyone- the coaches who have coached under me, the players who played under me, the supporting staff, everyone- has put in during my time here. And for that I am grateful.

WXOU: When you started out as a basketball coach, were there any thoughts that you would end up here, an inducted member of the American Basketball Hall of Fame?

Greg Kampe: (laughs) Me? No way. I’m very fortunate to have this opportunity to be in this position, and I’m grateful they’ve kept me around to coach this team! But, it’s become less about myself and more about what I and everyone else has done in preparing our student-athletes to be the best they can possibly be.”

WXOU: This is a departure from today’s events, but your team are currently in the midst of playing an exceptional stretch of basketball. You’ve likely been in a similar situation during your 40 years, so how do you keep your players grounded and focused on the next game?”

Greg Kampe: Two years ago, we started off the (Horizon League) season 9-1 or 10-1, whichever one it was, and then Jalen Moore got hurt. I think the biggest thing is going into that locker room and reminding the players to enjoy the ride. Enjoy the ride, and don’t get too caught up in having to win. I think we got into our heads about having to be in first place last night, and Youngstown could have easily taken advantage of that. We were lucky to not be on the end of a 30-0 run! But then we settled down, DQ and Blake made plays, and we came away with the win.

WXOU extends its appreciation to the American Basketball Hall of Fame, Oakland University Athletics, Greg Kampe, and John Ciszewski for allowing us to be a part of today’s festivities.



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