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Henson, Cooper are first-time Naismith HOF nominees

Lou Henson, who coached New Mexico State and Illinois teams into the NCAA men’s basketball Final Four, is a first-time Naismith Hall of Fame nominee. (Journal file)

The late Lou Henson, the legendary New Mexico State men’s coach who died July 25 at age 88, and former New Mexico Lobo and Los Angeles Lakers great MIchael Cooper are two of eight first-time nominees for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame’s Class of 2021.

Those two join Doug Collins, Howard Garfinkel, Paul Pierce, Val Ackerman, Yolanda Griffith and Lauren Jackson as first-time nominees to the Hall of Fame.

Finalists will be announced in March, the entire Class of 2021 on Final Four weekend in April, and induction ceremonies are scheduled to take place in Springfield, Mass., in September.

Former University of New Mexico Lobo and NBA great Michael Cooper, shown coaching in the WNBA All-Star Game in 2014, is a Naismith Hall of Fame nominee, it was announced Tuesday. (Matt York/The Associated Press)

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