Butler, Dupree heads Big 5 Hall of Fame inductee class
The Philadelphia Big 5 will have an impressive group of inductees heading into its hall of fame next month.
The Big 5 has announced this year’s class, which includes the late Rasual Butler (La Salle), Pat Calathes (St. Joseph’s), Candice Dupree (Temple), Natasha Rezek (Penn), Curtis Sumpter (Villanova) and longtime St. Joseph’s athletic director Don DiJulia.
The Big 5 Hall of Fame enshrinement is part of the season-ending banquet honoring the year’s top players and coaches. It will take place on April 16 at The Palestra on the University of Pennsylvania campus.
Butler scored 2,125 points at La Salle from 1998-02. He ranks fourth in school history behind three other Big 5 Hall of Famers: Michael Brooks, Tom Gola and Lionel Simmons.
In 2002, the former Roman Catholic High School standout was a second-round draft pick of the Miami Heat. He played 13 years in the NBA with eight different teams. Butler died in an automobile accident on Jan. 31.
Calathes led St. Joseph’s in scoring (17.5 points per game) and rebounding (7.5 rpg) and blocked shots (1.2 bpg) during the 2007-08 seasons. He helped the Hawks post a 21-13 record while getting to the Atlantic 10 Championship game and picked up a bid to the NCAA tournament.
Calathes, a 6-foot-10 guard, was a two-time A-10 all-conference selection. As a senior, he received first-team honors and was named to the A-10 All-Championship team. He finished his career on Hawk Hill with 1,251 points.
Dupree had a tremendous college career at Temple. She is one of the top women’s college basketball players in Philadelphia Big 5 history. She had 1,698 points, 968 rebounds and 218 blocked shots in her Temple basketball tenure.
She recently became just the second player in Temple women’s basketball history to have her jersey number — No. 4 — retired. Dupree was a two-time Atlantic 10 and Big 5 Player of the Year. In 2006, she was the sixth overall pick in the WNBA Draft. She is in her 13th season in the WNBA and has been named an all-star six times.
Rezek is a three-time All-Big 5 selection. She is one of the top scorers and rebounders in Penn women’s basketball history. Rezek led the Ivy League in scoring (19.7 ppg) and rebounding (12.7 rpg) during her senior year.
A three-time All-Ivy honoree, Rezek finished her playing days with 1,265 points and 972 rebounds. She also led the Quakers in scoring and rebounding three times.
Sumpter, a New York City native, was a two-time All-Big 5 selection. He averaged 13.3 ppg from 2002-07. In the 2004-05 season, Sumpter was a member of Villanova’s 2002 recruiting class that included All-Americans Randy Foye, Allan Ray and Jason Fraser. He completed his career with 1,651 points and 794 rebounds.
After his college career, he played professional basketball in Germany and France.
Finally, DiJulia is one of the best administrators in college athletics. He has played a major role in the growth of the athletic programs at St. Joseph’s University. This past year was his 50th year in college athletics and his 35th as athletic director at the university over two terms, from 1976-1981 and then from 1988 to the present.