USC’s John Naber, Tony Azevedo of Stanford Inducted to Pac-12 Hall of Honor

Photo Courtesy: Bob Ingram

USC’s John Naber, Tony Azevedo of Stanford Inducted to Pac-12 Hall of Honor

USC swimmer John Naber and Stanford water polo player Tony Azevedo are two of the 12 inductees in the 2022 class to the Pac-12 Hall of Honor.

The 2022 class is the 20th since the Pac-12 Hall of Honor was created in 2022. One athlete from each member school is included. The honorees will be recognized at a ceremony on March 11 before the semifinals of the 2022 Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Tournament in Las Vegas.

Naber is the most decorated swimmer in USC history. A 10-time NCAA champion, he helped propel the Trojans to four consecutive NCAA titles from 1974-77. One of the foremost backstrokers of all-time, Naber won gold in both events at the 1976 Montreal Olympics to go with silver in the 200 free. He added relay gold medals in the 800 free and 400 medley. The 1976 Swimming World World Swimmer of the Year, he held records in both backstroke events that survived for seven years each.

Naber’s many honors include the NCAA Silver Anniversary Award in 2002 and the 1977 Sullivan Award as the country’s top amateur athlete. He was the U.S. flag bearer for the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, which he was a member of the organizing committee for. Naber was a 1982 inductee to the International Swimming Hall of Fame.

Azevedo is the one of the most successful water polo players in American history. The Stanford grad was named the Pac-12 Water Polo Player of the Century in 2015, having led Stanford to two NCAA championships and two runner-up finishes. He won the Peter Cutino Award, water polo’s equivalent of the Heisman Trophy, all four years.

The native of Rio de Janiero, Brazil, represented the United States in five Olympics, winning silver in Beijing in 2008. He was the team’s leading scorer in that tournament with 17 goals, landing on the all-tournament team. He’s fourth all-time in Olympic water polo scoring with 61 goals and captained the 2012 U.S. squad. Azevedo also won five gold medals at the Pan American Games and played professionally throughout Europe.

Other inductees to the Pac-12 Hall of Honor in 2022 include Arizona track & field athlete Tanya Hughes, Arizona State football player and wrestler Curley Culp, Cal women’s basketball player Layshia Clarendon, Colorado runner Jenny Simpson, Oregon track & field athlete English Gardner, Oregon State football player Steven Jackson, UCLA basketball player and track & field athlete Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Utah basketball player Tom Chambers, Washington soccer player Tina Frimpong Ellertson and Washington state football player Drew Bledsoe.

“The Pac-12 is honored to recognize the accomplishments of 12 incredible women and men who represent the very best of the Conference of Champions, on and off the fields of play,” Pac-12 Commissioner George Kliavkoff said in a press release.  “From Olympic gold medalists to Super Bowl champions to NBA All-Stars to WNBA veterans to, of course, collegiate champions, our honorees continue a showcase of our league’s rich tradition of champions.”