11 New Members to be Enshrined in Springfield on September 11th
Indianapolis, IN. – Today, at a Press Event presented by Haggar Clothing Company, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced the 11 members of the Class of 2015 to be honored September 10-12, 2015 during this year’s Enshrinement Ceremonies in Springfield, Massachusetts. This year’s list includes 39-year NBA referee Dick Bavetta, three-time College Coach of the Year John Calipari, four-time NBA All-Star Spencer Haywood, eight-time NBA All-Star Dikembe Mutombo, seven-time NBA All-Star Jo Jo White and three-time WNBA MVP Lisa Leslie.
They join the five directly elected members who were announced during NBA All-Star Weekend in February by distinguished committees focused on preserving all areas from the game of basketball. They include Louis Dampier voted in from the American Basketball Association (ABA) Committee, John Isaacs from the Early African American Pioneers Committee, Lindsay Gaze from the International Committee, Tom Heinsohn from the Veterans Committee and George Raveling from the Contributor Direct Election Committee.
The Class Announcement was made at a press conference in Indianapolis, the site of the 2015 NCAA Final Four, and televised live on NBA TV with host Jim Nantz from CBS Sports.
“We are honored to recognize the highly distinguished Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2015,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. “They have contributed a great deal to the game we all love, as players, coaches, teachers, mentors and more. They have dedicated themselves to their craft and serve as an inspiration to many. We look forward to honoring each of these inductees during the Enshrinement festivities in September.”
To be elected, finalists must receive 18 of 24 votes from the Honors Committee for election into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. The addition of the direct elect committees were incorporated into the election process to maintain a strong focus on keeping history on the forefront of the voting procedures and to preserve a balance between two eras of basketball.
“The Class of 2015 is a group of outstanding individuals who represent many eras and facets of basketball,” said Jerry Colangelo, Chairman of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Board. “Their commitment to the game is undeniable and the impact they have had on others is even greater. We are very pleased to honor this remarkable group of inductees.”
The Class of 2015 will be enshrined at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass. on Friday, September 11. Ticket packages to the 2015 Enshrinement Ceremony presented by NIKE and all Enshrinement Events are on sale now and available online at www.hoophall.com by calling the Basketball Hall of Fame at (413) 231-5540. Premium Sponsors of Enshrinement 2015 include Haggar Clothing Company, Mohegan Sun and Panini.
THE NAISMITH MEMORIAL BASKETBALL HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2015:
North American Committee:
DICK BAVETTA [Referee] – Bavetta, a native of Brooklyn, NY, served as an NBA Official for 39 consecutive years. At the conclusion of the 2013-14 season, he had officiated 2,635 consecutive regular season games having never missed a game throughout his entire career. On April 2, 2014, he set the ironman record in professional sports officiating for working his 2,633rd consecutive game. Bavetta’s officiating career includes the Eastern League/CBA (1966-1975), Rucker Park Summer League (1966-1986), the Jersey Shore Basketball League (1972-2007), FIBA (1980-1992), and the NBA (1975-2014). He officiated 270 career NBA playoff games in 29 consecutive seasons, including 27 NBA Finals games. He was the first NBA official to referee the Olympic Games (1992).
JOHN CALIPARI [Coach] – Calipari is a three-time Naismith College Coach of the Year (1996, 2009, 2015), three-time National Association of Basketball Coaches Coach of the Year (1996, 2009, 2015) and nine-time Conference Coach of the Year (1993,1994,1996, 2006, 2008-10, 2012, 2015), He coached University of Massachusetts from 1988-1996 and won five Atlantic 10 regular season championships and five Tournament championships (1992-1996). Calipari then coached University of Memphis from 2000-2009 and won four Conference USA regular season championships (2004, 2006, 2007, 2009), three C-USA Tournament championships (2006, 2007, 2009) and the NIT Tournament (2002). With the University of Kentucky since 2009, he has won three SEC regular season championships (2010, 2012, 2015), three SEC Tournament championships (2010, 2011, 2015) and an NCAA Championship (2012). Calipari has led his teams to eight Elite Eight Appearances (2006, 2007, 2009-12, 2014, 2015) and four NCAA Final Four appearances (2011, 2012, 2014, 2015).
SPENCER HAYWOOD [Player] - Haywood joined the ABA in 1969 and then went on to play for 12 years in the NBA (1970-1983), where he scored 14,592 points, had 7,038 rebounds and won an NBA Championship with the Los Angeles Lakers in 1980. He is a four-time NBA All-Star (1972-1975) and two-time All-NBA First Team member (1973, 1974). Haywood was the leading scorer on the 1968 gold medal United States Olympic team. During his time with the ABA’s Denver Nuggets, he was named ABA Rookie of the Year and ABA All Star Game MVP. He holds ABA single season records for most minutes played (3,808), most field goals made (986), most rebounds (1,637) and highest rebounding average (19.5). At the University of Detroit, he was a unanimous First Team All-America selection in 1969.
DIKEMBE MUTOMBO [Player] - Mutombo is an eight-time NBA All-Star (1992, 1995-98, 2000-02) and a four-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year (1995, 1997, 1998, 2001). He led the NBA in blocked shots for five consecutive seasons (1994-98) and blocks per game for a record three consecutive seasons (1994-96). He earned NBA All-Rookie Team recognition in 1992 and All-NBA Second Team in 2001. A native of Zaire, Africa, Mutombo attended Georgetown University (1988-1991) and played in the NBA from 1991 until 2009 recording 11,729 points, 12,359 rebounds, and 3,289 blocks in eighteen NBA seasons. He received the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award in 2001 and 2009. His legendary finger-wagging motion after blocked shots became one of the most recognized gestures in the game.
JO JO WHITE [Player] – White is a seven-time NBA All-Star (1971-1977) and two-time NBA Champion with the Boston Celtics (1974,1976). He earned NBA All-Rookie Teams honors in 1970 and All-NBA Second Team in 1975 and 1977. White was named the NBA Finals MVP in 1976 and averaged 17.2 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 4.9 assists per game in 12 NBA seasons. He played for the University of Kansas from 1965-69, earning The Sporting News and Converse First Team All-America in 1969. In 1968, White won a gold medal with the U.S. Olympic team.
LISA LESLIE [Player] - Leslie is an eight-time WNBA All-Star (1999-03, 2005, 2006, 2009) and a three-time WNBA Most Valuable Player (2001, 2004, 2006). A native of Gardena, California, she played for University of Southern California (1990-1994) where she was named the Consensus National Player of the Year, a Kodak All-America and Naismith Trophy winner in 1994. She holds Pac-10 career records for scoring (2,414) and rebounding (1,214). She is the WNBA all-time leader in total rebounds (3,307) and ranks second all-time in WNBA total blocks (822). With the Los Angeles Sparks, Leslie won two WNBA Championships (2001, 2002) and she is a four-time Olympic Gold Medalist (1996, 2000, 2004, 2008). She is the first player to dunk in a WNBA game.
THE NAISMITH MEMORIAL BASKETBALL HALL OF FAME DIRECT ELECT MEMBERS:
From the ABA Committee:
LOUIS “LOUIE” DAMPIER [Player] – Dampier is one of a few players to play all nine seasons the ABA was in existence (1967-1976). He is one of two men to have played all nine seasons with one team, the Kentucky Colonels. Dampier finished first all-time in the ABA in games played (728), minutes played (27,770), points scored (13,726), and assists (4,044). An ABA Champion in 1975, he was also named a seven-time ABA All-Star (1968-70, 1972-75), a member of the ABA All-Rookie First Team (1968) and a member of the ABA All-Time Team. Prior to the ABA, Dampier played three seasons at Kentucky where he was a Second-Team All-American twice and an Academic All-American once. Upon graduation, he was ranked third all-time in points scored for the Wildcats. Dampier concluded his professional career with the San Antonio Spurs of the NBA after the ABA merger in 1976.
From the Contributor Direct Election Committee:
GEORGE RAVELING [Contributor] – Raveling is the current Director of International Basketball for Nike and a former men’s college basketball coach. He served as an assistant coach at his alma mater Villanova (1963-69) and then Maryland (1970-72) where he helped lead the 1970-71 Terrapins to an undefeated regular season. As a Head Coach, Raveling led Washington State University (1972-83) to two NCAA tournament appearances and Iowa (1983-86) to back-to-back 20-win seasons. He also took USC (1986-94) to two NCAA appearances and was named Kodak National Coach of the Year (1992), Basketball Weekly Coach of the Year (1992), Black Coaches Association Coach of the Year (1992) and CBS/Chevrolet National Coach of the Year (1994). In 1984 and 1988, Raveling served as an assistant coach for the U.S. Olympic teams. Raveling was the first African-American coach in the ACC and PAC-8 (now the PAC-12). He is not only known for making history by breaking down racial barriers as a coach, but also was a part of history when in 1963 he received the original copy of the Martin Luther King Jr., “I Have a Dream” speech. He was honored with the John W. Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013.
From the Early African American Pioneers Committee:
JOHN ISAACS [Player] – John “Wonder Boy” Isaacs played professionally for the New York Renaissance leading them to a 112-7 record and the first-ever World Professional Basketball Tournament Championship in 1939. He later played for a number of professional outfits including the Washington Bears, where he won a second World Pro title. Isaacs was named to the World Professional Basketball Tournament Second Team (1943). Along with fellow Hall of Famer and former teammate William “Pop” Gates, Isaacs pioneered the “motion offense.” Isaacs passed away on January 26, 2009 and is an enshrinee of the New York City Basketball Hall of Fame (1992).
From the International Committee:
LINDSAY GAZE [Coach] – Gaze, a native of Adelaide, South Australia, has represented his country in seven Olympics as both a player and coach. He played for the Australian national team in 1960, the first year Australia sent a team to the Olympics, as well as 1964 and 1968. He then coached the Australian national team in the following four Olympic games (1972, 1976, 1980, 1984). Gaze coached the Melbourne Tigers of the NBL winning two championships (1993,1997). He was named Coach of the Year for the National Basketball League three times (1989, 1997, 1999). Gaze is a member of the Australian Basketball Hall of Fame and FIBA Hall of Fame.
From the Veterans Committee:
TOM HEINSOHN [Coach] – A 1986 inductee of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a Player, Heinsohn will be just one of four people to be inducted as both a Player and Coach. The double honor is shared with Bill Sharman, John Wooden and Lenny Wilkens. Heinsohn coached the Boston Celtics after the retirement of Bill Russell from 1969 to 1978 winning two NBA Championships (1974, 1976). He was named NBA Coach of the Year in 1973 after leading his team to a league best 68-14 record. He accumulated a career coaching record of 427-263 (.619). Since retiring as coach of the Celtics, he has remained with the organization as color commentator and studio analyst for television broadcasts.
About the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame:
Located in Springfield, Massachusetts, the city where basketball was invented, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame promotes and preserves the game of basketball at every level – professional, collegiate, men and women.
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