The 2023 inductees of the U.S. Basketball Writers Association's Hall of Fame are considered pioneers, mentors and exemplary examples of basketball journalism among their peers.
M.A. Voepel of ESPN and Carl Adamec of the Manchester (Conn.) Journal Inquirer will be inducted into the organization’s Hall of Fame at the USBWA Awards Brunch at 10 a.m. CT on Friday, March 31 at the Omni Dallas Hotel.
Seth Davis of The Athletic and CBS Sports, Bob Logan of the Daily Herald and Chicago Tribune, Kevin Scarbinsky of the Birmingham News and AL.com, Lesley Visser of the Boston Globe and CBS Sports, and Grant Wahl of Sports Illustrated, CBS Sports and FOX Sports will be honored at the USBWA Awards Luncheon at 11:30 a.m. CT on Monday, April 3 at the Marriott Marquis Houston. Logan and Wahl will be honored posthumously.
Carl Adamec is considered a dean of sports reporting in the New England area. For the last 37 years, he has worked at the Journal Inquirer in Manchester, Conn., chronicling high schools, colleges and national stories for the Connecticut newspaper. He has had a front seat — and made readers feel like they had a behind-the-scenes look — at UConn’s women’s basketball dynasty since 1989. His knowledge and coverage of women's basketball far extends past the UConn women's basketball program, however. He has a pulse on the national women's basketball scene, college and the WNBA, and writes extensively on it all. He is a long-time voter in the weekly AP Top 25 poll. Adamec is also one of the foremost authorities on college women's basketball recruiting and his work has earned him state and regional writing honors.
Seth Davis, whose six books include the recently-released New York Times best-seller “Wake Up with Purpose! What I’ve Learned During My First Hundred Years” with Sister Jean of Loyola Chicago, has played a prominent role in the CBS Sports coverage of college basketball since 2004. His distinguished coverage of the game for 22 years at Sports Illustrated was followed by his current role as Senior Writer for college basketball at The Athletic. His books include “Wooden: A Coach’s Life,” a definitive biography of UCLA coach John Wooden, and “When March Went Mad: The Game That Transformed Basketball,” about the 1979 national championship game between Indiana State’s Larry Bird and Michigan State’s Magic Johnson.
Bob Logan was considered one of the most prominent basketball writers in the Midwest during his career of more than 40 years. During the latter part of his career at the Chicago Tribune and nearly all of his time at the Daily Herald, he concentrated on college sports. Logan wrote often about the Illinois teams of Lou Henson, Bill Self and Bruce Weber, the DePaul teams coached by Ray Meyer and the Notre Dame teams coached by Digger Phelps. He also worked for the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Levittown Times and the Illinois State Journal. In addition to his newspaper work, he created an annual basketball summary for the Encyclopedia Britannica. Logan died in 2006 at the age of 74.
Kevin Scarbinsky was a self-described “basketball fan in a football state” in a career that included roles as an Auburn beat reporter, general assignment sports reporter and columnist at the Birmingham News and AL.com. His coverage created a greater understanding of the game to a part of the country obsessing about football. His work was recognized five times in the USBWA writing contest. In his farewell column, Scarbinsky described how his work managed to alienate coaches Gene Bartow of UAB and Wimp Sanderson of Alabama – before he became friends with both.
Before Lesley Visser, now a member of seven Halls of Fame, became the most highly-acclaimed female broadcaster in history, her professional roots began when covering college basketball – specifically the formative years of the Big East – for the Boston Globe. She frequently wrote about Boston College, her alma mater, and became one of the most influential reporters as the new conference created intense interest throughout the northeast. Between her print and broadcast careers, she has covered 35 Final Fours. In 2015, she was enshrined in the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Hall of Fame.
M.A. Voepel has been a staple at ESPN for decades, reporting on women’s basketball when almost nobody else bothered or saw the value. He’s become arguably the most prominent and trusted voice in national reporting of the sport. He began working for ESPN.com in 1996, covering women’s college basketball and the WNBA as it was getting its start. He has covered more than 20 straight women’s basketball Final Fours – a prime example of how he has dedicated his career to the sport’s most prestigious moments while also finding the human-interest features that pull at heartstrings. Voepel won the 2022 Curt Gowdy Print Media Award for lifetime coverage of basketball from the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Grant Wahl quickly became an influential voice in college basketball when he joined Sports Illustrated in 1996, soon after graduating from Princeton. As a college senior, his story about the complex relationship between demanding coach Pete Carril and the players who upset UCLA became a showcase for his detailed reporting, ability to build relationships and the precision of his writing. During his time at SI, Wahl's feature writing won first place almost annually in the USBWA Best Writing contest. Wahl later began covering soccer exclusively and became a globally respected figure in that sport. He died unexpectedly at the age of 49 last December while covering the World Cup in Qatar.