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Published: Thursday 10 December, 2015

All eyes on Springfield as Basketball Hall of Fame welcomes Class of 2012 AP photoHall of Fame president and CEO John Doleva presents a jersey to Tammy Harrison, representing the All American Red Heads professional women's basketball team who will be inducted this month. SPRINGFIELD The eyes of the basketball world will once again focus on this western Massachusetts city on Friday as the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame fetes its newest members. will be the fourth year we been at Symphony Hall and the red carpet event just outside Symphony Hall and if people don have a ticket to the Enshrinement they can come down and see the class, Hall of Fame president and CEO John L. Doleva said. going to have over 60 Hall of Famers, probably closer to 65 so it a great time to get a glimpse of the Famers. NBA TV is out there live so it has the feel of the Oscars as they walk up the red carpet and get stopped by NBA TV talent and kind of recap their careers so it really kind of a cool feel Nike Magista Opus, Doleva added. The Class of 2012 includes players Reggie Miller, Ralph Sampson, Jamaal Wilkes, Katrina McClain, Don Barksdale, Mel Daniels and Chet Walker, coaches Don Nelson and Lidia Alexeeva, contributor Phil Knight of Nike, referee Hank Nichols and the first professional women basketball team, the All American Red Heads. Miller played his entire 18 year NBA career with the Indiana Pacers and is one of the premier 3 point shooters in the history of the game. Sampson is perhaps the most decorated college basketball player, winning multiple player of the year awards at Virginia. Wilkes had a great college career at UCLA, helping the Bruins to two national championships, and went on to help his teams win four NBA titles.

national team hardware than anyone else, including three Olympic medals (two gold) Nike Magista Opus FG Dark Citron Volt Black Outlet Store and three FIBA World Championship medals, and was a two time All American and player of the year at Georgia. Barksdale was the first African American to earn NCAA All America status as well as the first African American Olympic basketball player and the first NBA All Star. gone through the new category that we started last year, the early African American pioneers, and the objective of that is to make sure that no one that deserves to be considered and elected for the Hall of Fame is bypassed, Doleva said. great to bring forth those stories that aren tip of the tongue names. Once people start to study them and learn about them it a remarkable story. Daniels is one of the all time greats of the ABA, getting named to seven ABA All Star teams, being the ABA rookie of the year and is the all time ABA rebounding leader. Walker was a seven time All Star and a member of one of the greatest NBA teams of all time, the 1966 67 Philadelphia 76ers who ended the eight year reign of the Boston Celtics. Nelson is the winning coach in NBA history, a builder and innovator on the sidelines and a five time champion as a player for the Celtics. Alexeeva coached the Soviet Union to two gold medals and dozens of other championships in her international coaching career. Knight is the co founder of Nike, which he helped turn into a athletic shoe and apparel company known worldwide. you take a look at when basketball really took off in the mid 80s and into 90s, I think there are two individuals who you can point to and Phil Knight of Nike is one of them and David Stern of the NBA is the other, Doleva said. really moved the needle on a global standpoint of basketball. (Nike) changed the game, it changed the way players are perceived, it changed the way kids imitated those players, so he really was a remarkable man. Nichols was one of top college refs before becoming the NCAA coordinator of officials and is credited with unifying how the game was officiated across the country. The All American Red Heads were the female version of the Harlem Globetrotters, traveling the country for more than six decades and breaking down social barriers. we got a big class, 12 individuals being honored, Doleva said. individual will not make it and that Lidia Alexeeva, the coach from the Soviet Union. That an amazing story in itself. She didn lose a game in international play. And of course Mr. Barksdale deceased so his son will be representing him. it going to be a bunch of great people speaking up there. It will be a longer evening but the more you learn about these individuals and what they done, the more you nod your head and say Hall of Fame material. And we all learn more about them on Enshrinement night. The list of Hall of Famers who will be here for Enshrinement includes Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, Magic Johnson, Julius Erving, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Bob Cousy, Teresa Edwards, Isiah Thomas, Rick Barry, Artis Gilmore and Earl Monroe.

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