Duke basketball: Johnny Dawkins officially inducted into Hall of Fame

Former Duke basketball player and coach Johnny Dawkins (Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports)
Former Duke basketball player and coach Johnny Dawkins (Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports) /

Duke basketball icon Johnny Dawkins has been officially inducted into the Hall of Fame. 

Wednesday night in Chicago was an important milestone in the history of the Duke basketball program as Johnny Dawkins was officially inducted into the College Basketball Hall of Fame.

Mike Krzyzewski, a member of the inaugural class into the Hall of Fame, also had his formal induction.

Dawkins is one of the main reasons why that the Blue Devil program is as strong as it is today after he committed to and believed in the vision of Krzyzewski in 1982.

“Johnny Dawkins is most deserving of going into the College Basketball Hall of Fame,” Coach K said in a video on social media posted on Wednesday.

“He really is the one who started our program that I have had the honor to run in the 80’s. he was the College Player of the Year, an [NBA Draft] lottery pick, and really as good of a player that we have ever had at Duke University.”

His Naismith Player of the Year came in 1986 and was also as two-time consensus First Team All-American in 1985 and 1986 while also being named to the First Team All-ACC in those seasons.

Dawkins was named to the Second Team All-ACC in his first two seasons in Durham.

“In addition to that, he was as good of a person,” Krzyzewski said.

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“I wouldn’t be here as the head coach at Duke for 40-something years if it wasn’t for Johnny Dawkins. He laid the foundation for which we built a first class program.”

The iconic No. 24 that Dawkins wore during his four years at Duke hangs in the rafters of Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Duke basketball icons give heartfelt speeches

Both Mike Krzyzewski and Johnny Dawkins gave incredible speeches when they accepted their places in the College Basketball Hall of Fame and it was fitting that their ceremonies were together.

Krzyzewski was a member of the 2006 class but with nearly 180 people in its first class when the Hall of Fame opened in 2006, the idea was to spread out the formal inductions of that founding class throughout the years.


After completing his professional career and returning to Duke as an assistant coach, Johnny Dawkins then went to become the head coach at Stanford and now leads Central Florida as one of the better mid-major programs in the country.

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“Everything I do as a coach — I measure it against what I did as a player and coach at Duke… It’s a high standard,” he said in his acceptance speech.

“I wouldn’t be here without Coach K believing in me. It was an incredible honor to be inducted alongside you. Thank you to Duke and Coach K for all the memories,” he said on social media.


It shows the time and legacy of the Duke basketball program and reaffirms how dominant the teams have been throughout the years that many still peg the Blue Devils as one of the favorites to win the National Championship this upcoming season.

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