Friday, February 15, 2013

Roger Brown, Oscar Schmidt, Russ Granik, Dr. E.B. Henderson and Richard Guerin are first members elected for the Class of 2013; Remaining Class Announced April 8

HOUSTON, TX and SPRINGFIELD, MA – The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced today the first five members of the Class of 2013, all of whom were directly elected by distinguished committees focused on preserving all areas from the game of basketball.  These direct-elects include Roger Brown voted in from the American Basketball Association (ABA) Committee, Dr. E.B. Henderson from the Early African American Pioneers Committee, Oscar Schmidt from the International Committee, Richard Guerin from the Veterans Committee and Russ Granik from the Contributor Direct Election Committee.  

In 2011, these five new committees were established to each directly elect one nominee into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.  This change was made to ensure that the Hall of Fame maintains a strong focus on presenting accurate historical information while utilizing voting specialist who are intimately familiar with the special category they have been assigned to evaluate.  These five directly elected individuals have officially been elected into the Basketball Hall of Fame and will be a part of the Enshrinement Ceremonies in September.

These electees will join the eventual candidates for the Class of 2013 from the North American and Women’s committees from a pool of finalists that includes four-time NBA All-Star Maurice Cheeks, five-time NBA All-Star Tim Hardaway, three-time coach of the year Sylvia Hatchell, four-time NBA All-Star Spencer Haywood, two-time NBA Championship coach Tom Heinsohn, four-time NBA All-Star Bernard King, five-time NCAA Final Four coach Guy Lewis, nine-time NBA All-Star Gary Payton, six-time NCAA Final Four coach Rick Pitino, six-time NBA All-Star Mitch Richmond, five-time WNBA All-Star Dawn Staley and four-time NCAA Final Four coach Jerry Tarkanian.

The entire Class of 2013 will be announced on Monday, April 8 at a news conference in Atlanta prior to the NCAA’s Men’s Championship game. A Finalist needs 18 of 24 votes from the Honors Committee for election into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. The Class of 2013 will be enshrined during festivities in Springfield, Mass. on Sunday, September 8. Tickets to the 2013 Enshrinement and Induction Celebration are available by calling the Hall of Fame at (413) 231-5540.

From the ABA Committee
[Player] – Brown, nicknamed “The Rajah” was one of the greatest one-on-one players in the history of the American Basketball Association (ABA) averaging 17.4 points per game in eight ABA seasons. He was a four-time ABA All-Star (1968,1970, 1971,1972), All-ABA first team (1971) and a member of three ABA championship teams with the Indiana Pacers (1970, 1972 and 1973).  He holds two ABA records - most consecutive field goals made (21) and scored an ABA Finals single-game high of 53 points. Brown starred for the University of Dayton, and was drafted by the Indiana Pacers in 1967. During his eight year (1967 -1975) ABA career, he spent time with the Indiana Pacers, Memphis Sounds and the Utah Stars. He is one of five players to have his jersey retired by the Pacers.  After his professional career Brown served as a Republican on the Indianapolis City Council for four years. He was diagnosed with cancer in 1996 and before passing away in 1997, he took part in several fundraisers across the city of Indianapolis.

From the Early African American Pioneers Committee
[Contributor] – Known as the “Grandfather of Black Basketball,” Henderson was a true pioneer of the game. He first learned basketball in 1904 at Harvard University, while attending a summer physical training class for gym teachers. Upon his return to Washington, D.C., he introduced the game of basketball to his black students. That was the first time African Americans had played organized basketball on a wide scale. Henderson later formed the first African American athletic conference, the Interscholastic Athletic Association (I.S.A.A). Through the I.S.A.A, he was able to organize competitions between intercity African American youth along the Mid-Atlantic coast specifically in New York and Washington, D.C.  In 1909, he lead the Twelfth Street Colored Y.M.C.A to the 1909-10 Black National Title and the team finished undefeated. The following year, he coached the 12th Streeter squad to another undefeated season and won the 1910-11 Colored Basketball World’s Championship title. He also co-edited the Spalding Official Handbook for the I.S.A.A., which was published from 1910 to 1913.

From the International Committee
[Player] – Schmidt is one of the greatest players to come out of his native country of Brazil. He was named one of FIBA’s 50 Greatest Players in 1991, and was inducted into the FIBA Hall of Fame in 2010. He played in five Summer Olympics with the Brazilian national team and was the top scorer in three of them. In the 1988 Seoul Olympics, he averaged 42.3 points per game. Schmidt is a three-time gold medalist in the South American Championship (1977, 1983, 1985), two-time silver medalist in the South American Club Championships (1979,1981), won the Intercontinental Cup Silver medal (1977) and World Championship bronze medal in 1978. Schmidt won both the South American Club Championship and the World Club Championship with Sirio of the Brazilian Basketball League in 1979. Drafted in the sixth round by the New Jersey Nets in 1984, Schmidt declined the opportunity to play in the NBA in order to maintain his “amateur” status in Europe. He also spent time playing in the Italian League where he won the Italian Basketball Cup with Caserta in 1988, and was seven-time Italian League top scorer (1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1990, 1992). Returning to his native Brazil in 1995 to finish his career, Schmidt was the league’s top scorer eight times from 1996-2003.  He retired on May 26, 2003.

From the Veterans Committee
[Player] – Guerin is widely known as one of best all-around players ever in the NBA, scoring over 14,676 points during his 13-year stint. The six-time NBA All-star was a member of the New York Knicks from 1956-1963 and was the first Knick to score 2,000 points in a single season (1961-62). He averaged 20.1 points per game with the team and recorded 4,278 rebounds and 4,211 assists in his 13 NBA seasons. He finished his career as a player/coach for the St. Louis/Atlanta Hawks, compiling an NBA coaching record of 327-291 with the Hawks organization and was named NBA coach of the year in 1968. Rewriting the basketball record books as a collegiate player at Iona College, Guerin scored 1,375 points, including a career average of 19.6 points per game and graduated the leading scorer in Iona basketball history. The New York Knicks drafted him in the second round in 1956.

From the Contributor Direct Election Committee
RUSS GRANIK [Contributor] – One of the most influential contributors to the game of basketball. Granik spent 30 years in the NBA league office starting as a staff attorney in 1976 and finishing his NBA career as the Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer. He was involved in every major negotiation in the NBA from 1980 to 2005 including television contracts, collective bargaining and league expansion. Overseeing the expansion of the game into the international realm as a key figure in working out the details of professionals (NBA players) competing in the 1992 Olympic Games and subsequent international competitions. He was the NBA’s chief negotiator on four collective bargaining agreements and has served as NBA Executive Vice President (1984-90), Vice President of USA Basketball (1989-96) and President of USA Basketball (1996-2000).  He was also the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Chairman of the Board (2003-2007). In 2005, he received USA Basketball’s Edward S. Steitz Award.

About the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame:

Located in Springfield, Massachusetts, the Birthplace of Basketball, 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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