The Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame has announced their Class of 2022, and three local candidates were named in Swin Cash, Tim Grgurich and Suzie McConnell-Serio.
Cash, a Mckeesport native and graduate of Mckeesport High School, was an All-American in 2002 and won two National Championships at UConn under legendary head coach Geno Auriema in 2000 and 2002.
She would go on to become the second overall pick in the 2002 WNBA draft and played 15 seasons in the league. During that time, she was a four-time all-star, two-time All-WNBA Second Team and three-time WNBA Champion, where she won the Detroit Shock’s first two titles in 2003 and 2006 and then the 2010 title for the Seattle Storm.
Cash would also be successful internationally, winning the gold medal in the 2004 and 2012 Summer Olympics for the USA team. Her 479 games played are also the seventh-most all-time in WNBA History
Currently, Cash is a member of the New Orleans Pelicans Basketball Operations Staff, holding the title of Vice President of Basketball Operations & Team Development. She was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2020.
Grgurich is a native of Lawrenceville and coached at Pitt from 1964-1980, where he was an assistant from 1964-75 and then head coach from 1975-80.
During his time at Pitt, Grgurich learned and implemented the Amoeba defense, which is a defense that mixes up zone and man defenses in order to exhaust opposing offenses.
This defense was crucial to Pitt’s success in 1973-74 where they made it to the Elite Eight in the NCAA Tournament.
Grgurich took this defense with him to UNLV and served as an assistant under Jerry Tarkanian, from 1981-92, leading to two final four appearances and the 1990 NCAA Tournament Championship.
After UNLV, Grgurich would spend almost all of the next 29 seasons as an assistant in the NBA, aside from a seven-game stint as head coach for UNLV in 1994-95 that he resigned from.
He served many of those years under head coach George Karl, who is a Penn Hills native, on the Seattle Supersonics in the 1990s and the Denver Nuggets in the mid-late 2000s. Those Supersonics teams were known for their defensive-prowess and were able to make it to the 1996 NBA Finals. Grgurich also had success with the Portland Trail Blazers and Nuggets under Karl, making it to the Western Conference Finals with both teams.
Grgurich served as an assistant for the Phoenix Suns and was an assistant coach/consultant on teams like the Milwaukee Bucks, Detroit Pistons, and the Dallas Mavericks.
He won the 2018 Tex Winter Assistant Coach Lifetime Impact Award for his work over the decades and was named by former Dallas Mavericks head coach, Rick Carlisle, as the “godfather of modern player development.”
Suzie McConnell-Serio is a native of Brookline and attended Seton La-Salle, where she won the 1984 PIAA State Championship.
She would then go on to attend Penn State, where she would lead the Nittany Lions to four consecutive NCAA appearances and was a First-Team All-American in 1988. Her seven career triple-doubles as a Nittany Lion would also stand as the NCAA record until it was broken in 2017.
McConnell-Serio would play on the USA team, winning gold in Seoul in 1988 and bronze in Barcelona in 1992. She would finish out her playing career with the Cleveland Rockers, where she played three seasons from 1998-2000, making the 1998 All-WNBA First Team.
McConnell-Serio would be elected to the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2008.
After her playing career, she has coached in the WNBA with the Minnesota Lynx, in college with Duquesne and Pitt and at high school with Oakland Catholic, where she won three PIAA AAA State Championships.