Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
Massachusetts) honors exceptional basketball players, all-time
great coaches, referees,
executives, and other major contributors to the game.
Named after basketball inventor Dr. James
, its mission is to preserve and promote basketball at
all levels and serve as the ultimate library of the sports's
To date, it has honored 285
The entrance to the former site of
the Basketball Hall of Fame near downtown Springfield.
Naismith Hall of Fame was established in 1959 by Lee Williams, a
former athletic director at Colby College, and opened its first
public facility at Springfield
College in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1968.
The basketball in the sky above the
Basketball Hall of Fame
A new building off-campus was
opened near downtown Springfield in 1985.
In 2002 a new $45 million, 80,000 square foot (7,400 m²) building
designed by New York City architects Gwathmey Siegel
& Associates Architects
was opened next door replacing the
Inside the building includes a game gallery and an honor ring of
all of the inductees. A theater for the ceremonies throughout the
year seats up to 300.
Criteria for induction
contrast to the Pro Football and the Baseball Halls of Fame, the Naismith Hall honors
international professionals and American and international amateurs
in addition to American professionals.
It employs four
screening committees to identify prospective nominees: one each for
American candidates, female candidates, international candidates,
and veterans candidates.
Individuals who receive at least five votes from a seven-member
screening committee in a given year advance to an Honors Committee,
composed of 12 members who vote on each candidate and rotating
groups of 12 specialists (one group for female candidates, one
group for international candidates, and one group for American and
veterans candidates); any individual receiving at least 18
affirmative votes (75 percent of all votes cast) from the Honors
Committee is approved for induction into the Hall of Fame.
Advancement to the Honors Committee is generally pro forma,
although the Hall's Board of Trustees may remove any candidate who
"has damaged the integrity of the game of basketball" from
To be considered for induction by a screening committee, a player
must be fully retired from play for at least five years, while a
coach or referee must be fully retired for at least five years or
have been active full time in his/her respective craft on the
professional, collegiate, of high school level for at least 25
years. No years of service criterion is applied to those who have
made a "significant contribution to the game of basketball".
Sportswriters and commentators are elected as full-fledged
Controversy has arisen over many aspects of the Hall's voting
procedures, including voter anonymity. While sportswriter voters of
other major sports Halls of Fames openly debate their choices, the
Naismith Hall does not make the process transparent. The Hall has
also been widely criticized for a tendency to enshrine active
collegiate coaches and relatively obscure players while highly
notable omissions such as Norm Stewart
and Artis Gilmore
As of the Class of 2008 the Hall had honored 285 individuals.
, Lenny Wilkens
, and Bill Sharman
have each been inducted as both a
player and coach (Wooden in 1961 and 1973, Sharman in 1976 and
2004, and Wilkens in 1989 and 2004, respectively).
Three times the Hall has inducted new classes without honoring a
player, 1965, 1968, and 2007.
There are many players, coaches and referees in the Hall of Fame
that changed the game of basketball . Recently, in the class of
, John Stockton
got inducted as
players. Jerry Sloan
and C. Vivian
got introduced as coaches. There have been some teams
that are famous for what they did inducted, most recently the Texas
Western team, which was inducted in 2007. They were the 1st team
with five African Americans in their starting lineup and won the
NCAA college basketball national championship. People aren’t just
inducted for how they played or coached. There are some announcers
inducted too, most recently, ESPN announcer Dick Vitale, who is
known for his terms in college basketball. In the first class ever
inducted, Dr. James Naismith, who invented basketball was
rightfully inducted, along with the first team ever assembled that
Naismith made when he invented basketball.
Other Hall awards
In conjunction with the Final Four
each year's men's and women's Division I NCAA basketball
the Naismith Hall gives out several awards to
college basketball athletes:
For men, the Hall presents the Bob Cousy
to the top point guard
among players in Divisions I
, and III
award, given since 2004, is voted on by Cousy
and a selection of basketball writers,
college basketball coaches, sports information directors and
The Hall also presents the Frances Pomeroy Naismith
to the female player under 68 inches in height and
the male player under 72 inches determined to have been the
nation's best student-athletes. The men's award, given since 1969,
is voted on by the National Association of Basketball Coaches
(NABC), and the women's, given since 1984, by members of the
Basketball Coaches Association