The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame is an American history museum and hall of fame, located at 1000 Hall of Fame Avenue in Springfield, Massachusetts. It serves as the sport's most complete library, in addition to promoting and preserving the history of basketball. Dedicated to Canadian-American physician and inventor of the sport James Naismith, it was opened and inducted its first class in 1959.
As of the induction of the Class of 2018, the Hall has formally inducted 389 individuals.
|Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame|
|Type||Professional sports hall of fame|
The Naismith Hall of Fame was established in 1959 by Lee Williams, a former athletic director at Colby College. In the 1960s, the Basketball Hall of Fame struggled to raise enough money for the construction of its first facility. However, during the following half-decade the necessary amount was raised, and the building opened on Feb. 17, 1968, less than one month after the National Basketball Association played its 18th All-Star Game. The Basketball Hall of Fame's Board named four inductees in its first year. In addition to honoring those who contributed to basketball, the Hall of Fame sought to make contributions of its own. In 1979, the Hall of Fame sponsored the Tip-Off Classic, a pre-season college basketball exhibition. This Tip-Off Classic has been the start to the college basketball season ever since, and although it does not always take place in Springfield, Massachusetts, generally it returns every few years.
In the 17 years that the original Basketball Hall of Fame operated at Springfield College, it drew more than 630,000 visitors. The popularity of the Basketball Hall of Fame necessitated that a new facility be constructed, and in 1985, an $11 million facility was built beside the scenic Connecticut River in Springfield. As the new hall opened, it also recognized women for the first time, with inductees such as Senda Berenson Abbott, who first introduced basketball to women at Smith College. During the years following its construction, the Basketball Hall of Fame's second facility drew far more visitors than ever anticipated, due in large part to the increasing popularity of the game but also to the scenic location beside the river and the second Hall's interesting modern architecture.
In 2002, the Basketball Hall of Fame moved again—albeit merely 100 yards south along Springfield's riverfront—into a $47 million facility designed by renowned architects Gwathmey Siegel & Associates. The building's architecture features a metallic silver, basketball-shaped sphere flanked by two similarly symmetrical rhombuses. The dome is illuminated at night and features 80,000 square foot (7,400 m²), including numerous restaurants and an extensive gift shop. The second Basketball Hall of Fame was not torn down but rather converted into an LA Fitness health clubs. The current Basketball Hall of Fame features Center Court, a full-sized basketball court on which visitors can play. Inside the building there are a game gallery, many interactive exhibits, several theaters, and an honor ring of inductees. A large theater for ceremonies seats up to 300. The honorees inducted in 2002 included the Harlem Globetrotters and Magic Johnson, a five-time NBA champion, three-time NBA finals MVP and Olympic gold medalist.
As of 2011, the current Basketball Hall of Fame has greatly exceeded attendance expectations, with basketball fans traveling to the Hall of Fame from all over the world. Despite the new facility's success, a logistical problem remains for the Basketball Hall of Fame and the City of Springfield. The two entities (along with the riverfront area entirely) are separated by the Interstate 91 elevated highway—one of the eastern United States' busiest highways—which, essentially, inhibits foot-traffic and other interaction between the Basketball Hall of Fame and Springfield's increasingly lively Metro Center. Both the Hall and Springfield have made public statements about cooperating further so as to facilitate even more business and recreational growth for both; however the placement and height of Interstate 91 remain physical obstacles. Urban planners at universities such as UMass Amherst have called for the I-91 to be moved, or to be re-configured so as to be pedestrian-friendly to Hall of Fame visitors. In 2010, the Urban Land Institute announced a plan to make the walk between Springfield's Metro Center and the Hall of Fame (and riverfront) easier.
In contrast to the Pro Football and the National Baseball Halls of Fame, Springfield honors international and American professionals, as well as American and international amateurs, making it arguably the most comprehensive Hall of Fame among major sports. From 2011 to 2015 seven committees were, and as of 2016 six committees are employed to both screen and elect candidates. Four of the committees screen prospective candidates:
Since 2011, the Veterans and International Committees also vote to directly induct one candidate for each induction class.
Three committees were formed in 2011 to directly elect one candidate for each induction class:
Individuals who receive at least seven votes from the North American Screening Committee or five votes from one of the other screening committees in a given year are eligible to advance to an Honors Committee, composed of 12 members plus rotating groups of 12 specialists (one group for female candidates, one group for international candidates, and one group for American and veterans candidates) who vote on each candidate. Each screening committee has a limited number of candidates it may submit to the Honors Committee—10 from the North American Committee, and two from each of the other committees. Any individual receiving at least 18 affirmative votes (75% of all votes cast) from the Honors Committee is approved for induction into the Hall of Fame. As long as the number of candidates receiving sufficient votes from a screening committee is not greater than the number of finalists that the committee is permitted to submit, advancement to the Honors Committee is generally pro forma, although the Hall's Board of Trustees may remove from consideration any candidate who "has damaged the integrity of the game of basketball".
To be considered for induction by a screening committee, a player, retired coach, or referee must be fully retired from that role for at least three full seasons. The waiting period had originally been five years, but was changed to four years in December 2015, and to three seasons in December 2017. Prior to the induction class of 2018, referees had been eligible for induction after 25 years of full-time service, even if still active. Changes to the criteria for consideration of active coaches were also announced as part of the 2017 changes. Currently, coaches become eligible upon 25 years of full-time service at the high school level or above, or three seasons after retirement. Effective with the class of 2020, active coaches must meet the years of service requirement and be at least 60 years old. No years of service criterion is required for those who have made a "significant contribution to the game of basketball". Sportswriters and commentators are elected as full-fledged members, in contrast to the Baseball Hall of Fame that places them in separate wings from the "real" Hall of Fame.
Controversy has arisen over aspects of the Hall's voting procedures, including voter anonymity. While sportswriter voters of other major sports' Halls of Fame openly debate their choices, the Naismith Hall process is not transparent. The Hall has also been criticized for a tendency to enshrine active collegiate coaches and relatively obscure players while omitting some accomplished players and coaches.
Since 1959, 395 coaches, players, referees, contributors, and teams have been inducted, with the most recent class entering on September 8, 2018. John Wooden, Lenny Wilkens, Bill Sharman, and Tom Heinsohn have each been inducted as both player and coach (Wooden in 1960 and 1973, Sharman in 1976 and 2004, Wilkens in 1989 and 1998, and Heinsohn in 1986 and 2015). John McLendon has been inducted as both coach and contributor, entering in 1979 as a contributor and 2016 as a coach.
On three occasions, the Hall has inducted new classes without honoring a player – 1965, 1968, and 2007.
For men, the Hall presents awards to the top players in Division I at each of the five standard basketball positions.
Each of the award winners is chosen by a Hall of Fame selection committee, plus the award's namesake.
The Hall, in cooperation with the Women's Basketball Coaches Association, presents analogous awards for the top Division I women's players at each position. One has been awarded since 2000; the others were first presented in 2018.
As with the men's awards, the selection committee for the women's awards includes each award's namesake.
The Hall also formerly presented the Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award to two college seniors—one male player no taller than 72 inches (1.83 m), and one female player no taller than 68 inches (1.73 m)—determined to have been the nation's best student-athletes. The men's award, given since 1969, was voted on by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC), and the women's, given since 1984, by members of the Women's Basketball Coaches Association. Both awards were discontinued after the 2012–13 season.
Ernest J. Schmidt (February 12, 1911 – September 6, 1986) was an American college basketball player born in Nashville, Kansas. He played college basketball for Kansas State Teachers College of Pittsburg in the early 1930s and was considered one of the best players of his time. He led the team to 47 straight victories and four straight conference titles. He was nicknamed "One Grand" for scoring exactly 1,000 points during his college career. He was enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1974.Ferenc Hepp
Dr. Ferenc Hepp (November 3, 1909 in Békés, Hungary – November 27, 1980) was a basketball administrator. He is considered "the father of Hungarian basketball". He became the president of the Hungarian Basketball Federation in 1954 and was a member of the FIBA Central Board in the 1950s and 1960s. He was enshrined into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a contributor in 1981. In 2007, he was enshrined as a contributor into the FIBA Hall of FameGeorge Hepbron
George T. Hepbron (August 27, 1863 in Still Pond, Maryland, US – April 30, 1946 in Newark, New Jersey) was a basketball referee. He is credited with writing the game's first book, How to Play Basketball, in 1904.Hepbron was a close friend of Dr. James Naismith, and subsequently played a major role in the early development of the game, especially in the area of rules. Hepbron held leadership roles with the Amateur Athletic Union Basketball Committee (1896) and the National Basketball Rules Committee (1915–1933).Hepbron was enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1960 as a referee.James Enright
James Enright (April 3, 1910 – December 20, 1981) was a college and professional basketball referee and sportswriter. He was born in Sodus, Michigan and began officiating at 20 years old.
After retiring in 1964 from a refereeing career that saw him officiate the 1954 NCAA tournament Final Four and the 1948 and 1952 Olympic basketball qualifying tournaments, Enright resumed a career he had abandoned for refereeing in 1930 and covered basketball and baseball for such publications as The Sporting News and the Chicago Evening American.
In 1968, Enright became president of the United States Basketball Writers’ Association and, in 1978, in view of his contributions to the game of basketball as a referee, Enright was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. He is also a member of the Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame.John Beckman
John Beckman (October 22, 1895, in New York, NY – June 22, 1968, in Miami, Florida) was a professional basketball player.
During his 27 years lasting pro career (1914–41) he was known as the "Babe Ruth of basketball". He is mostly known for his time with the Original Celtics (1918/19, 1921–27, 1929).He was enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1973.John Nucatola
John Nucatola (November 17, 1907 – May 9, 2000) was a professional basketball player, coach and referee. He was enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on 1 May 1978.Les Harrison (basketball)
Lester Harrison (August 20, 1904 – December 23, 1997) was an American professional basketball player, coach, and team owner and is a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.Lidiya Alekseyeva
Lidiya Vladimirovna Alekseyeva (Russian: Лидия Владимировна Алексеева, 4 July 1924 – 26 June 2014) was a Russian basketball coach.Alekseyeva was born in Moscow. As a player, she won the USSR women's league with MAI Moscow team in 1947, 1951, 1954, 1955 and 1956 and the USSR Cup in 1952. Playing for the USSR National Team, she won the European Championship in 1950, 1952, 1954 and 1956. She coached the USSR Women's National Team for 22 years (from 1962 to 1984), during that time the team won every competition they participated in. Specifically, they won Olympic Games Gold in 1976 and 1980, World Championship in 1964, 1967, 1971, 1975 and 1983 (USSR boycotted the 1979 tournament), European Championship in 1962, 1964, 1966, 1968, 1970, 1972, 1974, 1976, 1978, 1980, 1981 and 1983.
Alekseyeva was inducted into the inaugural class of the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 1999.
She was inducted into the FIBA Hall of Fame in 2007. On 24 February 2012, Alekseyeva was announced as a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2012; she was formally inducted on 7 September.List of coaches in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame honors players who have shown exceptional skill at basketball, all-time great coaches, referees, and other major contributors to the sport. Located in Springfield, Massachusetts, the Basketball Hall of Fame is named after Dr. James Naismith, who invented the sport in 1891; he was inducted into the Hall as a contributor in 1959. The Coach category has existed since the beginning of the Hall of Fame. For a person to be inducted to the Basketball Hall of Fame as a coach, they must either be "fully retired for five years" or, if they are still active, "have coached as either a fulltime assistant or head coach on the high school and/or college and/or professional level" for 25 years.As part of the inaugural class of 1959, three coaches were inducted (Forrest C. "Phog" Allen, Henry Clifford Carlson and Walter E. Meanwell); in total, 100 individuals have been inducted into the Hall of Fame as coaches.
Six coaching inductees were associated with teams that were inducted to the Hall of Fame as units. Don Haskins, inducted in 1997, was the coach of the 1966 Texas Western basketball team, which was inducted in 2007. Dutch Lonborg, inducted in 1973, was manager of the 1960 U.S. Olympic team that was inducted in 2010. Three coaching inductees were members of the staff for the 1992 U.S. Olympic team that was also inducted in 2010—head coach Chuck Daly (1994) and assistants Lenny Wilkens (1998) and Mike Krzyzewski (2001). Cathy Rush (2008) was the head coach of the Immaculata College women's team of 1972–1974 that was inducted in 2014.Ten of the inducted coaches were born outside the United States: Cesare Rubini, Aleksandr J. Gomelsky, Antonio Díaz-Miguel, Aleksandar "Aza" Nikolić, Geno Auriemma, Alessandro "Sandro" Gamba, Mirko Novosel, Pedro Ferrándiz, Lidia Alexeeva, and Lindsay Gaze. Ten of the inducted coaches are women: L. Margaret Wade, Jody Conradt, Pat Head Summitt, Sandra Kay Yow, Sue Gunter, Rush, C. Vivian Stringer, Tara VanDerveer, Alexeeva, and Sylvia Hatchell. Four coaches have also been inducted as players: John Wooden, Bill Sharman, Wilkens, and Tom Heinsohn. The most recent inductees in this category, who entered the Hall on September 9, 2016, are Tom Izzo and John McLendon. The latter, who was inducted as a contributor in 1979, is the first individual ever to be inducted as both a coach and contributor.Unlike recent years (such as 2015), in which individuals directly elected by special Hall committees were announced separately from the rest of the class, all 2016 inductees were announced at the same event. Specifically, the announcement of the class of 2016 was made on April 4 during the festivities surrounding the 2016 NCAA Men's Final Four in Houston.List of members of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, located in Springfield, Massachusetts, honors players who have shown exceptional skill at basketball, all-time great coaches, referees, and other major contributors to the sport. It is named after Dr. James Naismith, who conceived the sport in 1891; he was inducted into the Hall as a contributor in 1959.To be considered for induction, nominees must meet certain prerequisites. Players must have been retired for at least three years before becoming eligible. Referees must have either been retired for at least three years, or, if they are still active, have officiated for at least 25 years at high-school-level programs or higher. Coaches must have either been retired for at least three years, or, if they are still active, have coached for at least 25 years at high-school-level programs or higher and from 2020 on must have coached for at least 25 years after reaching the age of sixty years. Those being considered for induction as contributors may be inducted at any time; the Hall of Fame and its committees evaluate whether contributions are significant enough for the nominee to be inducted as a contributor. Teams are also inducted at the committees' discretion.
As of the induction of the Class of 2016 on September 9, 2016, the Hall has formally inducted 354 individuals (174 players, 95 coaches, 4 as both players and coaches, 66 as contributors, one as both coach and contributor, and 16 referees) and 10 teams. The 2016 class consisted of six players, two coaches (one of whom had previously been inducted as a contributor), one contributor, and one referee.The finalists for the class of 2017 were announced on February 18, 2017. The finalists were players Tim Hardaway, Tracy McGrady, Sidney Moncrief, and Chris Webber, coaches Robert Hughes, Rollie Massmino, Bo Ryan, Bill Self, Rudy Tomjanovich, Muffet McGraw, Kim Mulkey, referee Hugh Evans, contributor Rebecca Lobo, and team Wayland Baptist University.List of players in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, located in Springfield, Massachusetts, honors players who have shown exceptional skill at basketball, all-time great coaches, referees, and other major contributors to the sport. It is named after Dr. James Naismith, who conceived the sport in 1891; he was inducted into the Hall as a contributor in 1959. The Player category has existed since the beginning of the Hall of Fame. For a person to be eligible on the ballot for Hall of Fame honors as a player, he or she must be fully retired for three years. If a player retired for a short period, then "his/her case and eligibility is reviewed on an individual basis".
As part of the inaugural class of 1959, four players were inducted; over 150 more individuals have been inducted as players since then. Four players have also been inducted as coaches: John Wooden in 1973, Lenny Wilkens in 1998, Bill Sharman in 2004, and Tom Heinsohn in 2015.
Of the inducted players, 25 were also members of teams that have been inducted into the Hall as units.
Henry "Dutch" Dehnert, Nat Holman, and Joe Lapchick were members of the Original Celtics.
William "Pop" Gates and John Isaacs were members of the New York Renaissance. The induction category of another former player for the team, Nathaniel "Sweetwater" Clifton, is subject to dispute; he was originally announced as a contributor, but is now listed with player inductees by the Hall.
Marques Haynes and Reece "Goose" Tatum were two of the most famous players of the Harlem Globetrotters. Three other players who made their greatest contributions with other teams—Wilt Chamberlain, Connie Hawkins, and Lynette Woodard—were members of the Globetrotters at some point in their professional careers. Furthermore, longtime member Meadowlark Lemon has been inducted as a contributor, and the aforementioned Clifton, who briefly played for the team, is (depending on definitions) a member as either a player or contributor.
Walt Bellamy, Jerry Lucas, Oscar Robertson, and Jerry West were members of the 1960 United States Olympic Team.
Charles Barkley, Larry Bird, Clyde Drexler, Patrick Ewing, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Karl Malone, Chris Mullin, Scottie Pippen, David Robinson, and John Stockton were members of the 1992 United States Olympic Team, better known as the "Dream Team". In fact, all but one of the players on the "Dream Team" roster (Christian Laettner) have been inducted in the Hall of Fame as individuals.Louis Wilke
Louis G. Wilke (October 10, 1896 in Chicago, Illinois, USA – February 28, 1962) was an American basketball coach and administrator. After coaching basketball on a high school level, he became the coach for Phillips University in 1928. He also coached the AAU Phillips 66ers from 1929 to 1931 to a 98-8 record. After his coaching career he served as a chairman of the AAU Basketball Committee for seven terms and was an executive board member of the US Olympic Committee from 1956 to 1960. He was enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a contributor in 1983.Mel Daniels
Melvin Joe Daniels (July 20, 1944 – October 30, 2015) was an American professional basketball player. He played in the American Basketball Association (ABA) for the Minnesota Muskies, Indiana Pacers, and Memphis Sounds, and in the National Basketball Association for the New York Nets. Daniels was a two-time ABA Most Valuable Player and a seven-time ABA All-Star. He was enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2012.Oswald Tower
Oswald Tower (November 23, 1883 – May 28, 1968) was an American basketball administrator and instructor at Phillips Academy Andover [1910-49]. Born in North Adams, Massachusetts, he served on the National Basketball Rules Committee from 1910 to 1960, was an editor of the Official Basketball Guide and an official rules interpreter from 1915 to 1960. He was enshrined in the inaugural class of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1959 as a contributor .Ralph Morgan (basketball)
Ralph Morgan (March 9, 1884 – January 5, 1965) was an American basketball administrator. Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, he was instrumental in early 20th century development of basketball rules. He founded the College Basketball Rules Committee in 1905. In 1931, CBRC became the National Basketball Rules Committee. He contributed to the rulebook until 1958. He also founded the Eastern Intercollegiate Basketball League, which later became the Ivy League. He was enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame as a contributor in 1959.Russ Granik
Russ Granik is an American sports executive who served as Deputy Commissioner of the NBA for 22 years. He retired from that position on July 1, 2006, after 30 years with the NBA. Granik was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on September 8, 2013, alongside basketball legends including Gary Payton, Bernard King, Rick Pitino, and Jerry Tarkanian. He was enshrined into the Hall of Fame by Jerry Colangelo. During his professional career, Granik served as the announcer of second-round picks in the NBA Draft and in later years, the television host of the NBA Draft Lottery.The First Team
The First Team were the first players known to have played the sport of basketball, having been taught the game in 1891 by James Naismith, who is recognized as the inventor of the sport. The team comprised 18 players who were studying in Springfield, Massachusetts, to become executive secretaries of the YMCA and who, as part of their coursework, studied physical education with Naismith, who is said to have invented the game to teach teamwork skills to his charges. The team was inducted as a group into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as part of that organization's inaugural 1959 induction class for their efforts in popularizing the sport and as the game's first practitioners.Tom Jernstedt
Tom Jernstedt is an American basketball administrator, working for the NCAA from 1972 until 2010. He was enshrined into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame as a contributor in 2010 and the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2017.Zack Clayton
Zachariah "Zack" Clayton was a basketball player for the New York Rens. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2017.As a boy, Clayton played at the Christian Street YMCA along with Charles "Tarzan" Cooper, Jackie Bethards and Bill Yancey. There they began four fruitful careers on a squad called the Tribune Men. Clayton also played for the Harlem Globetrotters. Clayton would win world championships with both teams. Clayton is enshrined in the Philadelphia basketball Hall of Fame. Clayton later became a boxing referee. His most famous bout the 1974 Ali-Foreman "Rumble In The Jungle". Clayton also refereed Muhammad Ali's last fight against Trevor Berbick in 1981.
Members of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
|Awards and honors|