Jim Phelan, who just completed his 44th season as coach at Mount St. Mary's, and Navy senior Hassan Booker were honored yesterday in Springfield, Mass., by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Phelan, whose 784 wins are the most among active coaches, was chosen as the winner of the Clair Bee Award, which is given to a coach whose teams have excelled on the court and in academics, and have had a positive impact on the community.

Mount St. Mary's was 13-15 last season, one of just seven losing records Phelan has had in more than four decades while coaching the team to 15 NCAA tournaments, including the College Division championship in 1962.

Booker, a native of Los Angeles and two-year all-Patriot League selection, won the Chip Hilton Award, which is presented to a player who shows athletic skill, excellence of effort, team spirit, personal discipline and service to others.

The awards, created by the NCAA Foundation in 1996 as a way to promote positive character in basketball, will be presented at the Hall of Fame on May 16.

Bee, a Hall of Fame coach at Long Island University, was the author of the 24-book Chip Hilton Sports Series.

NORTH CAROLINA: Neither a third shot at the Final Four nor the chance to be the go-to guy for one of the nation's most prestigious programs was enough to convince Vince Carter he isn't ready for the NBA.

Carter led the Atlantic Coast Conference in shooting last season and joins teammate and national Player of the Year Antawn Jamison in the June 24 draft.

Carter probably will be picked between 4-10 in the draft. "It could change based on how the lottery balls fall on the 17th [of May]," former UNC coach Dean Smith said, noting that two teams have expressed great interest in Carter as a swing player.

"One thing I think I can bring to the [NBA] game is defense," Carter said. "I have worked hard on it and I will continue to work hard at it. My athleticism I hope will be a factor in the NBA."

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