Michael Jordan...Shaquille O’Neal...Magic Johnson... Kobe Bryant... all iconic players from the NBA. You can find all these names in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. When you make it into a Hall of Fame of any sport, that proves to the world that you made it; you've achieved a level of amazing talent that only a coveted few can accomplish.

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It was announced earlier this week that one of our very own UTEP Miners is a finalist to join the 2022 NBA Hall of Fame: Mr. UTEP Two Step himself, Tim Hardaway.

Tim Hardaway
Getty Images


Tim Hardaway
Getty Images

In college he would play for the UTEP Miners from 1985-1989 & with the guidance of coach Don Haskins (who was also a member of the NBA Hall of Fame since 1997), Tim won the 1988-89 WAC Player of the Year & The Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award.

When you saw Tim play, he practically became unstoppable. You couldn't catch him. He became SO unstoppable that while he was playing for the UTEP Miners, he would be known for his killer crossover dribble. That would later earn him the nickname: "UTEP Two Step"

His crossover would become so iconic, future NBA players (and just anyone who loves to play basketball) have put tutorials on how to even pull off Tim's legendary crossover.

After college, Tim would join the big leagues played for multiple teams: he would be drafted as a first round pick (number 14) to join The Golden State Warriors. He would later play for the Miami Heat, the Dallas Mavericks, the Denver Nuggets, the Indianapolis Pacers & would coach the Detroit Pistons from 2014-2018. His son, Tim Hardaway Jr would join the big leagues as well, playing for the Dallas Mavericks as well.

When he retired from playing in 2003, he would be a five-time NBA All-Star scoring over 15,000 points (averaging 17 points a game), 18th overall in assists in NBA history & would receive the 1990 Jack McMahon award for most inspirational player. He also won the gold medal playing for the US basketball team in the 2000 Summer Olympics.

His number (10) was so iconic for the Miners, they retired his number after Tim stopped playing. The Miami Heat retired the number 10 from the team as well.

To say that Tim represented UTEP in a good light is an understatement. As of 2022, he's only one of 12 players from UTEP who made it pro.  Anyone who watched college basketball in the 80s knew how good a player he was. So good that El Paso named an entire street after him. We even gave him the keys to the city!

He's been a guest on Sports Talk with Steve Kaplowitz many times in the past, like when he paid respect to his friend & former teammate Jeep Johnson.

And of course you have all the fans showing their off their Hardaway jerseys.

The entire class of 2022 will be announced on April 2nd so we'll have to wait to see if Tim will officially join the Hall of Fame this year or not. But regardless... as Steve said on the air back in 2017, Tim is & will always be one of the best players to put on a UTEP Miners jersey.

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