ST. LOUIS (USBWA) Sports columnists Mark Bradley of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Bryan Burwell of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch have been selected for the U.S. Basketball Writers Association Hall of Fame.
The two will be inducted into the Hall of Fame at the association's annual awards ceremony during a luncheon at this year's NCAA Final Four in Indianapolis on Mon., April 6.
Bradley has been writing for the Journal-Constitution for 31 years (1984 to present). Previously, he worked for the Lexington Herald-Leader for six years from 1978-84.
Although his columns today are mostly about pro sports in Atlanta and football in the South, Bradley told USBWA Vice President Pat Forde of Yahoo! Sports that covering college basketball played an integral role in his career as a sportswriter.
"When I go to a college basketball game, I kind of feel like this is what I grew up doing," said Bradley, who graduated from Kentucky. "It never feels like this is something unimportant. If I did ever make a reputation as a writer and I'm still trying to do that · a lot of it has had to do with covering college basketball."
Bradley was named best columnist in the highest circulation category by the Associated Press Sports Editors in 1985 and has finished in the top 10 four times.
Burwell will be enshrined posthumously. He passed away from cancer on Dec. 4, 2014. A past president of the USBWA in 2010-11, Burwell is the first African-American to be elected to the USBWA Hall of Fame.
Before joining the Post-Dispatch in 2002, Burwell established a national reputation writing for USA Today, Sports Illustrated, Sporting News, the Detroit News and New York's Newsday and Daily News. In 2007, he was selected by the Associated Press Sports Editors as one of the top 10 columnists in the country.
He was also a television and radio personality, appearing on CNN, ESPN's "The Sports Reporters," and HBO's "Real Sports" and "Inside The NFL" and hosting shows on radio stations in St. Louis.
Roger Hensley, the Post-Dispatch's sports editor, wrote in a statement following Burwell's passing: "As great as Bryan was as a journalist, he was even better as a teammate, as a co-worker and as a friend."
The addition of Bradley and Burwell brings the number of members in the USBWA Hall of Fame to 70. The Hall of Fame was established in 1988 to honor past and current USBWA members for their achievements in sportswriting and coverage of college basketball and to others for their contributions to the USBWA.
The U.S. Basketball Writers Association was formed in 1956 at the urging of then-NCAA Executive Director Walter Byers. With some 900 members worldwide, it is one of the most influential organizations in college basketball. It has selected a women's All-America team since the 1996-97 season. For more information on the USBWA and its award programs, contact executive director Joe Mitch at 314-795-6821.
• USBWA Hall of Fame