SAN ANTONIO, TX – Today, at a press event presented by Haggar Clothing Company, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced the 13 members of the Class of 2018 to be honored September 6-8, 2018 during this year’s Enshrinement festivities in Springfield, Massachusetts. The Class Announcement was made in San Antonio, Texas the site of the 2018 NCAA Men’s Final Four and televised live on ESPN2.
This year’s class includes two-time NBA Champion Ray Allen, four-time NBA All-Star Maurice Cheeks, the only coach in NCAA history to be named Conference Coach of the Year in four different conferences Charles “Lefty” Driesell, seven-time NBA All-Star Grant Hill, 10-time NBA All-Star Jason Kidd, two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash, three-time Olympic gold medalist Katie Smith and four-time WNBA Champion Tina Thompson.
Distinguished committees focused on preserving all areas from the game also selected five directly elected members. They include Charlie Scott from the Veterans Committee, Dino Radja from the International Committee, Ora Mae Washington from the Early African American Pioneers Committee, and Rod Thorn and Rick Welts from the Contributor Committee.
“The Basketball Hall of Fame is proud to honor the best in the game, both men and women at all levels and throughout the world,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. “The Class of 2018 is a remarkable bunch with accolades spanning decades and continents. As players, coaches, and executives, we thank them for their contributions to the game and look forward to honoring them during Enshrinement this fall.”
To be elected, North American and Women’s Committee finalists must receive 18 of 24 votes from the Honors Committee for election into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Direct elect committees are incorporated into the election process to maintain a strong focus on keeping history on the forefront of the voting procedures and to preserve a balance between two eras of basketball.
“The Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2018 is a unique blend of modern-day All-Stars and those who paved the way decades ago,” said Jerry Colangelo, Chairman of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Board. “We are very pleased to honor each of these well-deserving electees in the birthplace of basketball this September.”
The Class of 2018 will be enshrined on Friday, September 7 in Springfield, Massachusetts, the home of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Ticket packages to the 2018 Enshrinement Ceremony, presented by NIKE and all Enshrinement events are on sale now and available online at www.hoophall.com or by calling the Basketball Hall of Fame at (413) 231-5513. Premium Sponsors of Enshrinement 2018 include Haggar Clothing Company, Zales, Nike, Mohegan Sun and Panini.
THE NAISMITH MEMORIAL BASKETBALL HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2018:
KATIE SMITH [Player] – Smith is a WNBA Finals MVP (2008) and two-time WNBA Champion with the Detroit Shock (2006, 2008). A native of Ohio, Smith played for the Ohio State University (1992-1996) where she was named Big Ten Player of the Year (1996). In 2001, she was the first female Buckeye athlete to have her number retired. With the ABL’s Columbus Quest, Smith was a two-time ABL All-Star (1997, 1998) and two-time ABL Champion (1997, 1998). In the WNBA, Smith was selected as an All-Star seven times (2000-2003, 2005, 2006, 2009), and was named to the WNBA’s Top 20 at 20 in 2016. Smith is the all-time leading scorer in women’s professional basketball, having scored over 7,000 points in both her ABL and WNBA career. As a member of USA Basketball, Smith earned FIBA World Championship gold in 1998 and 2002, and Olympic gold in 2000, 2004 and 2008. Smith is currently the head coach of the New York Liberty.
TINA THOMPSON [Player] – Thompson is a four-time WNBA Champion with the Houston Comets (1997- 2000) and a nine-time WNBA All-Star (1999-2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2013). She was the first player selected in 1997 WNBA draft and earned All-WNBA First Team honors three times (1997, 1998, 2004). In commemoration of the league’s 20-year history in 2016, Thompson was named to the list of Top 20 players. A native of Los Angeles, she played for University of Southern California (1993-1997) and attended high school and college with Class of 2015 Hall of Famer Lisa Leslie. On the International stage, Thompson won a Russian National League Championship and EuroLeague Championship in 2007, as well as a Romanian National League Championship in 2010. As a member of USA Basketball, she earned Olympic gold medals in 2004 and 2008.