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Kareem Tatum '01, a former All-America guard and the all-time leading scorer for the Connecticut College men's basketball program, has been selected to the 2009 class of the New England Hall of Fame.
Tatum will be inducted at a dinner and ceremony Friday, Oct. 9, at the Mohegan Sun Casino. He said that the honor brings back many fond memories of when he played at Connecticut College eight years ago.
Considered one of the greatest basketball players in program history, Tatum's leadership and on-court dominance led the Camels to the pinnacle of college basketball with an appearance in the 1999 NCAA Division III Final Four Tournament.
"Although I am being inducted as an individual, I believe that this honor is a result of not only my commitment to success on the court, but also to the hard work and dedication of my coaches and teammates," he said.
This event will mark the third time Tatum has received a call to a hall of fame. In 2003, Tatum was honored by the New England Basketball Hall of Fame in the team category with the storied 1998-99 Connecticut College squad. Tatum also returned to his alma mater in 2007 as an inductee into the Connecticut College Athletic Hall of Fame.
Tatum said that while he appreciates the honors and accolades, he holds the friendships he shares with his fellow Camels and coaches closest to his heart.
"While it was exciting to represent our school in the Sweet Sixteen and Final Four, it has been more rewarding to be a part of my teammates' and coaches' lives after college," Tatum said.
Glen Miller, the head men's basketball coach at the University of Pennsylvania and former head coach at Connecticut College, was pleased to learn of Tatum's honor.
"Kareem was one of those dominant players who only comes around once in awhile," Miller said. "His ability to elevate his teammates to a higher level and take over games when the outcome was in question was as good as any player I have ever coached."
A second team All-America selection in 2000, the 6'3" guard earned an All-America honorable mention selection in 2001. He garnered All-NESCAC honors in each of his four years with the program, including second team in 1998 and 1999, followed by first team honors in 2000 and 2001. The 1998 NESCAC Rookie of the Year, Tatum was selected conference Player of the Year in 2000.
Tatum helped lead the Camels to their first-ever NCAA Tournament in 1998 when they reached the Sweet 16 round with a 22-4 record. One year later, they soared to the top of the national polls with a number one ranking and 27-0 record heading into the NCAA Final Four round, the furthest advancement of any Connecticut College team in NCAA play.
A two-year team captain, Tatum ended his career as the school's all-time leading scorer with 1,656 points (16.1 average), a record he continues to hold today. He also graduated with 525 career rebounds (5.1 average), 277 assists and 175 steals.
Since earning his B.A. in psychology, Tatum has been teaching English and coaching high school basketball in his hometown of Worcester, Mass.
For complete information on the ceremony at Mohegan Sun, visit the New England Basketball Hall of Fame web site.