Azzi awaits HOF induction

May 5, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
When you talk about the best female athletes ever to play in the Bay Area, Jennifer Azzi has to be near the top of that conversation. The former Stanford star will be inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in June and ABC7's Mike Shumann talked with her about the honor.

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Azzi came to the Bay Area in 1986 from Oak Ridge, Tennessee in Tara Vanderveer's first recruiting class.

"Our team was a 500 team her freshman year and we won the national title her senior year. She spoiled me," says Stanford basketball coach Vanderveer.

"The Stanford experience was incredible, not only for that time, but for the rest of my life. It taught me about having a vision for life and a vision for success," says Azzi.

Stanford won the national title in 1990 and Azzi was named player of the year in women's basketball. She then played professionally overseas in the first two women's pro leagues, the ABL and WNBA and was a part of the 1996 Olympic Gold Medal team.

She will be inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall Of Fame on June 13th in her home state of Tennessee.

"This one is being sort of honored by your sport, which I am still a little overwhelmed by it. It's a huge honor," says Azzi.

"She's a great ambassador for the sport and she's just a phenomenal person," says Vanderveer.

Azzi has been a pioneer in her sport and now works for the NBA and WNBA in community outreach and she's popular on the motivational speaking circuit.

"I hate the word pioneer because I feel so old, but our generation has pioneered the way as players and life after sports," says Azzi.

Azzi returned to the bay area and now lives in Marin County. She still can't believe her good fortune.

"I just followed my passion and basketball was my passion," says Azzi.

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