This year’s class was announced at the Final Four earlier this month. This class includes some variety from the all-time winningest boy’s high school coach to one of the best guards to ever play in the NBA. John Delova, who is the CEO of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, said that they selected these candidates because they all “uniquely impacted the basketball landscape as we know it.”
This group comprised of 11 members that each excelled in the sport and made some sort of great difference to the game of basketball and they are getting the ultimate recognition.
Let’s meet this group:
McGrady is by far the most recognized player in the class. When the nominees came out, there was no question that he was going to be the headliner of the class. His career began in Toronto with Vince Carter where they proved to be one of the most athletic backcourts in a while. Then, he moved onto Orlando. Finally, the legend of T-Mac fully blossomed in Houston where he played with current Hall of Famer, Yao Ming.
I wrote earlier that it was a no brainer that McGrady was a first-ballot Hall of Famer. Check it out here!
When you think of Kansas Jayhawk basketball what comes to mind? I think of absolute dominance and consistency. The man that is at the helm of all this success is Bill Self.
If you take a look at his resume, it makes so much sense for him to be the next college coach to enter the Hall. He is a 12-time Big 12 Champion, 2-time AP Coach of the Year, and a 2-time National Champion. This screams Hall of Fame.
His 2008 national championship teams played in the one of the most entertaining games in the past decade. If it wasn’t for Mario Chalmers buzzer beater, we may not be putting Self in this discussion.
Lobo is the headliner of the Women’s selection. She is probably the most talented women’s basketball player in recent memory. At all levels, she did more than flourished.
At Southwick High, she scored 2,740 points, which was a Massachusetts record for nearly 20 years. After that, she was recruited by every major college in the country. Ultimately choosing UConn.
At UConn, Lobo was a star for the Huskies. She was a 6’4” force on a 35-0 national champion team. That was the dawn of a dynasty that still lasts today. Her collegiate career was filled with awards. Such as being unanimously named the National Player of the Year in 1995.
Lobo went on to be the first player to be assigned to a WNBA team. She was a pioneer in the sport of basketball for women. Her accomplishments are amazing, but her determination sets her into that Hall of Fame category.
A selection out of the North American Committee. Hughes is probably the best high school coach to ever be on the sidelines in Texas. He has been on those sidelines for nearly 47 years.
On his way to creating a dynasty at Dunbar HS in Fort Worth, he compiled 1,333 wins, 35 district championships, and five state championships.
Hughes put Texas high school basketball on the map in a state known for football.
The savior of the Harlam Globetrotters.
Jackson played for the entertaining squad in the 60s. Then, he came back in 1993 to save the team from termination. He served as the CEO until 2007 and that made him the first African-American owner of an international professional entertainment organization. The Globetrotters were revived by Jackson and people can still enjoy the entertainment today because of him.
Jackson was elected by the Contributor Committee.
This contributor to the game is the reason March Madness is what it is today. For 38 years, he served as the point man for television deals and officiating negotiations.
Jernstedt is probably one of the most influential people in college sports and he is remembered as “the father of the Final Four.”
The head of the Chicago Bulls dynasty.
Krause was the GM of the Chicago Bulls during the reign of Jordan and put together one of the most famous teams of all-time. He constructed the team to win six titles and most notably, a team that went 72-10. Now, second in most wins in a season. The late owner stayed with the team until 2003.
He won Executive of the Year twice and also was a GM in the MLB.
This is the International Committee’s addition to the Hall of Fame. Galis is considered the best basketball player to come out of Greece. Even though he was not originally born in the country, his loyalty was always with his Greek heritage.
He was a standout at Seton Hall for four years and entered the NBA draft. He was selected by the Celtics, but his pro career was not long in the states. He was cut due to an injury in training camp. That was where the international legend was born. Over 12 seasons, he dominated in the Euroleague. He won a gold medal and was named MVP. He is also the all-time leading scorer in the league, averaging a startling 33.4 points per game over his career.
This video shows that he deserves the nod to Springfield:
Currently the head coach of Notre Dame, McGraw has been there for the last 30 seasons and kept the Fighting Irish at the top of women’s hoops the entire time.
Taking them to 23 NCAA tournaments including seven final fours. With so much coaching experience, she can say she is one of four NCAA coaches regardless of men or women to win 800 games, seven final fours, and five national championships.
Also, McGraw is the only male or female head coach to win Consensus National Player of the Year three times.
The final two inductees include:
George McGinnis- A Veteran inductee who was high school undefeated state champion at George Washington HS, an All-American at Indiana, six-time ABA All Star, and had a successful stint in the NBA. McGinnis excelled at all levels of the game.
Zack Clayton-One of the greatest players in the Black Fives Era. He played on nearly all of the all-black teams through the late 30s into the early 50s. He was elected by the Early African American Pioneers Committee.
That is your Class of 2017. This is a very top heavy class, but all had their impact on the game. Their inductions are much deserved!