Friday, February 12, 2016

TORONTO, ON – Announced today at NBA All-Star weekend, Jim Delany has been selected by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame to receive the 2016 John W. Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award after more than 40 years in athletic administration.

The Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award was instituted by the Board of Trustees of the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1973 and is the most prestigious award presented by the Hall of Fame outside of Enshrinement. Named in honor of Hall of Famer John W. Bunn (Class of 1964), the first chairman of the Basketball Hall of Fame Committee who served from 1949-1964, the award honors coaches, players and contributors whose outstanding accomplishments have impacted the high school, college, professional or International game.

“From standout collegiate player to conference commissioner, Jim Delany has continuously inspired those around him and aimed for excellence,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. “After all he has done for our game, we are honored to recognize Mr. Delany with the John W. Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award.”

A graduate of the University of North Carolina, where he was a three-year varsity letterwinner and two-time member of NCAA Final Four teams as a Tar Heel, Jim Delany has spent his entire life in athletics. As a longtime commissioner of the Big Ten Conference and a former Vice-President of USA Basketball, basketball has been at the heart of his work.

In 1975, Jim Delany began his work with the NCAA as an Enforcement Representative. Four years later, he moved into a leadership role as the Commissioner of the Ohio Valley Conference. Since 1989, Delany has served as Commissioner of the Big Ten Conference seeing the league through 27 years of tremendous growth and expansion. This expansion includes overseeing the additions of Penn State, the Nebraska, and most recently Maryland and Rutgers to the Big Ten family. 

Delany’s innovative work has included the introduction of the first conference-owned television network devoted to the academic and athletic programs of a single conference, the implementation of the Gender Equality Action Plan in 1992 to increase opportunities for female student-athletes and the establishment of conference-wide expectations for sportsmanship and fair play.

Under Delany, the Big Ten Conference has become a leader in creating a far-reaching support system for student-athletes, including the introduction of postgraduate scholarships in 2012. Revenue growth continues to top all other major conferences and Big Ten basketball consistently ranks first in attendance in the nation. The Big Ten has also sent men’s basketball teams to 16 Final Fours, including one national championship and another 10 Final Fours and one national title in women’s basketball.

One of the most influential administrators in collegiate sports, Delany also served as Treasurer of USA Basketball from 1996-2000 before being elected Vice-President from 2000-2008. His time at USAB included the successful run of the national team to the 2008 Olympic gold medal.

Delany will be presented the John W. Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award during the 2016 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame ceremonies, to be held at the “Hall of Fame Family Reunion Dinner” in September 2016. For more information, please visit

Previous John W. Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award Winners

1973 - John Bunn

1974 - John Wooden

1975 - J. Walter Kennedy

1976 - Henry P. Iba

1977 - Clifford B. Fagan

1978 - Curt Gowdy

1979 - Eddie Gottlieb

1980 - Arnold "Red" Auerbach

1981 - Ray Meyer

1982 - Daniel Biasone

1983 - Robert J. Cousy

1984 - Lawrence F. O'Brien

1985 - Lee Williams

1986 - Grady W. Lewis

1987 - David R. Gavitt

1988 - Haskell Hillyard

1989 - George E. Killian

1990 - Pat Head Summitt

1991 - Morgan B. Wootten

1992 - Will Robinson

1993 - Joe Vancisin                                                   

1994 - William Wall

1995 - Pete Carlesimo

1996 - Vic Bubas

1997 - C.M. Newton

1998 - Tex Winter

1999 - The Harlem Globetrotters

2000 - Meadowlark Lemon            

2001 - Tom Jernstedt

2002 - Harvey Pollack

2003 - Joe O'Brien

2004 - Zelda Spoelstra

2005 - Marty Blake

2006 - Betty Jaynes

2007 - Thomas “Satch” Sanders

2008 - Val Ackerman

2009 - Johnny "Red" Kerr

2010 - Don Meyer

2011 - Brian McIntyre

2012 - Pat Williams

2013 - George Raveling

2014 - Alvin Attles

2015  - Rod Thorn


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 and high school, for both men and women on the global stage.

For more information:
Visit us on the web: 
Twitter/Instagram: @hoophall #BunnAward
 OR call 1-877-4-HOOPLA