Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Announces
Three Early African American Pioneer Additions to the Class of 2022
Ticket Packages for Enshrinement Festivities Available Now on Hoophall.com
Springfield, Mass – The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced today three additional inductees in the Class of 2022 to be celebrated September 9-10 during this year’s Enshrinement festivities in Springfield, Massachusetts. These additions came from the Early African-American Pioneer Committee recognizing Black players, coaches and contributors in the historical period prior to the initial integration of the game occurring around 1950.
The Early African-American Pioneer Committee is one of the direct-elect committees focused on keeping lesser known basketball history on the forefront of the voting process. This year, the Committee selected three enshrines with a very significant impact on the game, including Black Fives Era legends Wyatt “Sonny” Boswell, Inman Jackson, and Albert “Runt” Pullins.
“Each year, during Enshrinement Weekend, we have the opportunity to honor the best and the brightest the game of basketball has ever known across a wide array of historical periods,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. “This year is no exception, and as we add three more extraordinary figures from the Black Fives Era to wind down the work of the Early African-American Pioneers Committee, we tell a richer, broader, and more inclusive historical narrative.”
Established in 2011, the Early African-American Pioneers Committee has worked tirelessly to research the careers of early Black ballplayers, coaches, owners, and innovators. The Committee’s ongoing research has uncovered the previously forgotten stories of these important early basketball figures, as well as fostered a deeper understanding of the Black experience in America. The Committee has endeavored to chronicle the achievements of these Black pioneers so that the Basketball Hall of Fame may share their stories and celebrate their contributions to the game. The Committee’s efforts have culminated in a new exhibit at the Hall of Fame entitled Breaking Barriers.
The complete list of those elected from the category to date since inception are as follows:
2011 – Reece “Goose” Tatum
2012 – Don Barksdale
2013 – E.B. Henderson
2014 – Nat “Sweetwater” Clifton
2015 – John Isaacs
2016 – Cumberland Posey
2017 – Zachary Clayton
2018 – Ora Washington
2019 – Chuck Cooper
2020 – No Inductee
2021 – Clarence Jenkins
The Class of 2022 will be enshrined during festivities in Springfield, Mass., the Birthplace of Basketball, on September 9-10, 2022. Ticket packages to the 2022 Enshrinement Ceremony and all the Enshrinement events are on sale now and available at Hoophall.com/events/enshrinement-2022/.
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THE NAISMITH MEMORIAL BASKETBALL HALL OF FAME DIRECT ELECT MEMBERS
Early African American Pioneer Committee
WYATT “SONNY” BOSWELL [Player] – Recognized posthumously, Boswell played for the Harlem Globetrotters and the New York Renaissance before playing one season with the NBL’s Chicago Studebakers. He helped lead the Globetrotters to the 1940 World Professional Basketball Tournament championship and was named Most Valuable Player. In 1942, Boswell added a second appearance on the World Pro All-Tournament team with the New York Rens. Boswell was one of the first and finest long-distance shooters in basketball.
INMAN JACKSON [Player] – Recognized posthumously, Jackson played 15 seasons with the Harlem Globetrotters becoming one of the mainstays with the earliest version of the barnstorming outfit. In 1940, in the twilight of his playing career, Jackson helped the Harlem Globetrotters win the 1940 World Professional Basketball Tournament. Jackson was the first Globetrotter to incorporate comedy and showmanship into his repertoire.
ALBERT “RUNT” PULLINS [Player] – Recognized posthumously, Pullins played a prominent role in the emergence of basketball. A native of Chicago, Illinois, Pullins played basketball at Phillips High School where he led the team to the Chicago Public High School League championship. Pullins capitalized on his high school success and went to play at Morris Brown University in Atlanta, Georgia. Pullins was also a founding member of the Harlem Globetrotters, before leaving to form his own team, the Harlem Clowns. The contributions of Pullins both spread the game of basketball throughout the country and helped mold the foundation of professional basketball for African Americans.
About the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame:
Located in Springfield, Massachusetts, the city where basketball was born, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame is an independent non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to promoting, preserving and celebrating the game of basketball at every level – men and women, amateur and professional players, coaches and contributors, both domestically and internationally. The Hall of Fame Museum is home to more than 400 inductees and over 40,000 square feet of basketball history. Nearly 200,000 people visit the Hall of Fame Museum each year to learn about the game, experience the interactive exhibits and test their skills on the Jerry Colangelo "Court of Dreams." Best known for its annual marquee Enshrinement Ceremony honoring the game’s elite, the Hall of Fame also operates over 70 high school and collegiate competitions annually throughout the country and abroad. For more information on the Basketball Hall of Fame organization, its museum and events, visit www.hoophall.com, follow @hoophall #22HoopClass or call 1-877-4HOOPLA.