Alonzo Mourning and Mitch Richmond to be inducted into Basketball Hall of Fame
The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced on Monday its class of 2014 -- a group that will include NBA stars Alonzo Mourning and Mitch Richmond.
"[It's an honor] to even be considered to be part of this prestigious fraternity," Mourning said at the time of his nomination, when asked what was going through his head following the announcement. "[You] think about all the trials and tribulations that you had to go through since I picked up a ball when I was eight years old. Just to think that this time has come. It also lets you know that basketball is over with."
In addition, Nolan Richardson, Gary Williams and Immaculata University’s AIAW National Championship teams of the early 1970s were also voted for enshrinement. They will be joined by five Direct Elect recipients from various Hall of Fame committees: David Stern (Contributor), Bob Leonard (ABA), Nat Clifton (Early African American Pioneers), Sarunas Marciulionis (International) and Guy Rodgers (Veterans).
The group will be inducted in Springfield, Mass., on Aug. 7-9. after being selected from a field of 12 finalists that was announced during All-Star weekend back in February. In order to be enshrined as a finalist, candidates needed 18 of 24 votes from the Hall's Honors Committee. Among those nominees who did not make the cut are Tim Hardaway, Kevin Johnson and Spencer Haywood.
Here's a look at the full, 10-member class, courtesy of the official release:
• Alonzo Mourning
Mourning was a seven-time NBA All-Star (1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2001, 2002) and a member of the Miami Heat NBA Championship team in 2006. He is a two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year (1999, 2000) and a two-time NBA All-Defensive First Team member (1999, 2000). He led the NBA in blocked shots (1998-99, 1999-2000) and blocks per game (1998-99, 1999-2000) and earned an NBA All Rookie Team recognition in 1993. The Chesapeake, Virginia native attended Georgetown University (1988-1992) and played in the NBA from 1993 until 2008 and is the all-time leader in blocks for the Miami Heat with 1,625.
• Mitch Richmond:
A six-time NBA All-Star, Richmond is a 1996 Olympic Gold Medalist, 1988 Olympic Bronze Medalist and won the 2002 NBA Championship with the Los Angeles Lakers. At the beginning of his NBA career he became a part of the Golden State Warriors’ famous “RUN TMC” attack. Richmond is the 1995 NBA All-Star Game MVP, the 1989 NBA Rookie of the Year and a two-time All-NBA Third Team member (1996, 1998). He scored 20,497 points and averaged more than 21 points per game for ten consecuive seasons in the NBA. At Kansas State University, he averaged 20.7 points and 6.0 rebounds per game and was UPI, The Sporting News and USBWA Second Team All-America in 1988.
• David Stern (Direct elect from the Contributor Direct Election Committee):
Stern served as NBA Commissioner from 1984 until 2014, was Executive Vice-President of the NBA from 1980-84 and was part of the NBA General Counsel from 1978-80. Stern oversaw more than 30 years of NBA development and expansion across all fields – financially, exposure, image and more. During his tenure, the league expanded from 23 to 30 teams and television revenue increased from $10 million per year to approximately $900 million per year. Stern implemented several rule changes to improve the game, instituted the age limit for NBA Draft entries, the NBA Draft Lottery and managed the relocation of six franchises. He oversaw the launch of the NBA Developmental League, NBA/WNBA Cares and Basketball Without Borders. Stern has made himself known as a huge force in making the NBA one of the most popular sports leagues in the world.
• Immaculata University’s AIAW National Championship teams of the early 1970s:
Coached by Hall of Famer Cathy Rush, Immaculata University won three straight AIAW National Championships (1972-74), compiling an overall record of 60-2 in three seasons. They were the first women’s college team to play in a nationally televised game, play at Madison Square Garden and to play in Australia. The roster included some of the nation’s best women’s basketball players including: Theresa Shank, who was a three-time All American recording 1,167 points and 952 rebounds in her career, Marianne Crawford, who was a two-time Kodak All- America also recording 747 points and 544 assists and Mary Scharff, who was a Kodak All-American recording 1,235 points and 583 rebounds in her career. All three ladies were inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame.
• Nolan Richardson
The 1994 Naismith and NABC Coach of the Year, Richardson led the University of Arkansas to the 1994 National Championship and to three Final Four appearances (1990, 1994, 1995). Richardson is an enshrinee in the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame and the Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame. He was the 1998 SEC Coach of the Year and led Tulsa to an NIT championship in 1981 and Western Texas to a NJCCA national championship in 1980. Richardson compiled a collegiate coaching record of 509-207 (.711)
• Gary Williams
As head coach of the University of Maryland from 1990-2011, Williams led the team to 11 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances (1994-2004), a National Championship in 2002, an ACC Tournament championship in 2004 and was enshrined into the University of Maryland Sports Hall of Fame and University of Maryland Alumni Hall of Fame. Williams was named Coach of the Year from Basketball America, Playboy, CBSsportsline.com, District and the ACC. He compiled an overall coaching record of 668-380 (.637) and led his teams to seven 25-win seasons and 22 appearances in postseason play.
• Bob Leonard (Direct elect from the ABA Committee) -- NCAA champion, NBA player and ABA coach
Nicknamed “Slick,” Leonard is the winningest coach in ABA history, having compiled an overall ABA coaching record of 387-270 (.589). He led the Indiana Pacers to three ABA championships (1970, 1972, 1973) and five ABA Finals (1969, 1970, 1972, 1973, 1975). Rival ABA coaches often called him the “best seventh game coach in the business” after he led the Indiana Pacers’ only team to win three ABA championships and their only team to win back-to-back ABA championships. Leonard holds an ABA record 69 playoff victories and coached an ABA record 166 ABA playoff games. He also compiled a 69-47 ABA playoff record (.595) and led the Indiana Pacers to three Divisional titles (1969, 1970, 1971). Leonard finished his career with an overall coaching record of 573-534 (.518).
• Nat Clifton (Direct elect from the Early African American Pioneers Committee)
Nathaniel “Sweetwater” Clifton is known for being the second piece in the NBA’s first Big Three as the first African American to sign an NBA contract. He joins Chuck Cooper and Earl Lloyd in what many call basketball’s version of the Holy Trinity. Clifton recorded 5,444 points (10.0 ppg) and 4,469 rebounds (8.2 rpg) in eight NBA seasons. Having had experience with the Harlem Globetrotters, Clifton reveled in the spotlight and shined at the 1957 NBA All-Star game, where he recorded eight points, eleven rebounds and three assists. He also shares the single-game record for field goals with 21 at Xavier. Clifton passed away on August 31, 1990 and is an enshrinee in the Black Athletes Hall of Fame.
• Sarunas Marciulionis (Direct elect from the International Committee)
Marciulionis hails from Kaunas, Lithuania as the first Soviet player in the NBA. He earned four Lithuanian Sportsman of the Year awards (1987, 1989, 1990, 1991) and was MVP of the European Championships in 1995. In his seven NBA seasons, Marciulionis averaged 12.8 points and 1.3 steals per game. A principal figure in developing basketball in Lithuania, he founded the North European Basketball League and served as the first commissioner and founded the Lithuanian Basketball League and served as the first president in 1993. Marciulionis resurrected the Lithuanian national team in the early 1990’s and led the movement to participate in the 1992 Olympic games.
• Guy Rodgers (Direct elect from the Veterans Committee)
Before becoming a four-time NBA All-Star (1963, 1964, 1966, 1967), Rodgers led Temple University to the NCAA Final Four (1956, 1958), was a unanimous First Team All-American (1958) and was part of the NCAA All-Tournament Team (1958). He scored 1,767 career points (19.6 ppg), which was the best in Temple history. In his 12 NBA seasons he compiled 10,415 points (11.7 ppg) and 6,917 assists (7.7 apg). He led the NBA in assists in 1963 (10.6 apg) and in 1967 (11.2 apg). Rodgers has MVP recognitions from the Big Five (1956, 1957, 1958), the College All-Stars Globetrotters Tour (1958) and the Holiday Festival (1957). He is an enshrinee in the Big Five Hall of Fame as well. Rodgers passed away February 19, 2001.