By Heather Kate McCormack
With new attractions and exciting upcoming events, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame has much to offer sports fans everywhere.
In August, fans at the Hall of Fame witnessed the presentation of the Harlem Globetrotters’ team ball, which had traveled with the Space Shuttle Atlantis on its recent mission. It was the first ball ever to go into space, and the Hall of Fame received it straight from the air via the parachuting Globie, the Globetrotter’s mascot.
This summer the Hall of Fame added a special Michael Jordan exhibit, celebrating Jordan’s career with photographs, a highlight video, and a timeline of his achievements in anticipation of his upcoming enshrinement. The exhibit contains a number of incredible artifacts, including his championship rings and a display of the various sneakers that Jordan wore throughout his career. The Jordan memorabilia is a huge hit with all visitors to the Hall.
The Hall also recently launched a photography exhibit of the NBA Finals created by Andrew D. Bernstein, the Senior Director of NBA Photos. Nowhere else can fans see this collection of photographs depicting some of the greatest and most memorable moments in NBA Finals history. Bernstein, who attended U Mass Amherst, expressed his excitement about launching the exhibit at the Hall, saying, “To be able to return to Western Massachusetts, where my dream started, and have my work displayed in the Hall of Fame is unbelievably thrilling. The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame is the pinnacle of the sport. The recognition doesn’t get any better than this.”
The highlight of the year will be the enshrinement of the Class of 2009, deemed by many as the most talented group ever to be inducted together, making this induction a “must see” event. NBA.com headlines read: “The best ever?” emphasizing how special this incoming class is. Michael Jordan, David Robinson, John Stockton, Jerry Sloan, and C. Vivian Stringer will enter the hallowed Hall together on September 11, 2009.
Unlike previous enshrinements, the ceremony will take place at Springfield’s Symphony Hall so as to accommodate more than 2,500 people who are expected to attend. For those who do not have a ticket to the induction ceremony, the weekend will be filled with events that will give access to all fans. One event sure to draw fans downtown is the NBA D-League’s extreme fan interactive, D-League Jam Session, at the MassMutual Center Exhibit Hall. The D-League Jam Session will have activities of all sorts, including bungee runs, games, sling shots competitions, and more. Fans will also be able to test out the EA Sports new NBA Live 21 video game at the EA Live Lounge. The game will not be released until October, so the public will have the chance to check it out before it hits stores. A public pep rally on September 11 at noon at the MassMutual Center will also give fans the opportunity to be a part of this historic event.
This year’s enshrinement has attracted massive interest on both the national and global level. Fans everywhere can watch the induction ceremony, airing live on ESPN on Friday, September 11th at 6:30 p.m. ET.