The 2017 Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame class may not be as lauded as some prior years, but the ceremony will induct several completely deserving figures in the sport of basketball. It always comes up, so it’s worth remembering that the Hall of Fame is for the entire sport of basketball, not the NBA itself. (The NBA does not have a dedicated Hall of Fame.) Just one major NBA star will be joining in this class, but some other enormous contributors to the sport will be joining him.
Here are the 10 new additions and brief descriptions of their accomplishments in the field.
As the best-known figure on this list, McGrady is a basketball icon. His prime came during seven consecutive All-Star appearances from 2001 to 2007 playing for the Orlando Magic and Houston Rockets. The NBA released this highlights mixtape of McGrady’s career this week in honor of his Hall of Fame election.
I accidentally stopped writing this post for five minutes to watch that. Alternatively, you can also check out the most iconic, unbelievable 33 seconds of McGrady’s career.
It’s the night McGrady was a basketball god.
Lobo was one of the more dominant women to ever play basketball — especially during her collegiate career, where she starred on the 1995 UConn Huskies team that went 35-0 and won a national championship.
Lobo also won a gold medal in the 1996 Olympics and spent six years in the WNBA, where she was named to the All-WNBA team in 1997 and an All-Star in 1999.
The 54-year-old Self isn’t done coaching, but as is often the case with coaches, they get elected before retirement. Self took over the University of Kansas men’s basketball program in 2003 and turned it into a powerhouse. Here’s his resume:
- A 2008 National Championship
- Two Final Four appearances (2008, 2012)
- Two-time AP College Coach of the Year (2009, 2016)
- 623-193 (.763) record
Self has led Kansas to 14 consecutive NCAA tournament appearances with no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
Like Self, McGraw is still a college coach, preparing to begin her 31st season as the head coach of the Notre Dame women’s basketball team. Her resume is equally impressive:
- A 2001 National Championship
- Two-time AP Coach of the Year (2013, 2014)
- 853-268 (.761) record
For 22 straight years, McGraw has successfully led the Fighting Irish to the NCAA tournament — including five straight years (2011-2015) in the Final Four.
Krause is one of two posthumous elections to the Hall of Fame, after the longtime Chicago Bulls executive passed away earlier this year. Krause was the general manager during all six of the Bulls’ championships in the 1990s and was twice named NBA Executive of the Year. He served in his GM and executive role for 19 years.
Krause could be a polarizing figure, but he won over many — including Phil Jackson, who has publicly stated that Krause belongs in the Hall of Fame. Krause sadly didn’t live to see it, but he’ll be inducted Friday nevertheless.
Clayton was elected by the Early African Americans Pioneer Committee, and his inclusion is the other posthumous selection that will occur on Friday. Clayton already belongs to the Philadelphia Basketball Hall of Fame for his work as a Black Fives Era pioneer.
Clayon played guard for the New York Renaissance from 1936 to 1946, and he briefly appeared with the Harlem Globetrotters. Later in his career, Clayton even became a boxing referee. You can read more about his life here.
Jernstedt belongs to two Hall of Fames: the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame, and now, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. He served in crucial behind-the-scenes roles for the NCAA, working as an administrator from 1972 to 2010. He is credited for helping develop the NCAA National Championship game into a prominent event.
You may not know Jackson, but his work with the Harlem Globetrotters is unmistakable. If you saw the Globetrotters play anytime in the past three decades, Jackson had a hand in it — serving as the owner and CEO of the team from 1993 to 2007. He also starred for the team in the 1960s, so it was only right he returned as a key member on top of the organization.
Galis is the Greek Michael Jordan, if you will. After playing basketball in the United States for Seton Hall and being drafted in the fourth round of the 1979 NBA Draft by the Boston Celtics, Galis hurt his ankle during training camp and didn’t make the team. That was as close as Galis ever came to playing in the NBA.
Instead, Galis became one of the greatest FIBA players of all time. He won eight Greek League championships, five Greek League MVPs, and was the Greek League’s Top Scorer 11 times. In 1991, he was named one of FIBA’s 50 Greatest Players and later elected to its Hall of Fame. In one season, he averaged 44 points per game for his club team, Aris B.C. If you want to see him demolish Panama, here you go.
McGinnis also starred in a league outside of the NBA, but his was closer to home. He was a two-time ABA champion with the Indiana Pacer (1972, 1973) and won co-MVP with Julius Erving in 1975. After the ABA-NBA merger, McGinnis added three NBA All-Star appearances to his three ABA selections, proving he wasn’t just beating up on lesser competition.
He also shot jumpers one handed. Seriously.
Hughes is the all-time winningest boys high school coach, coaching at two schools in Fort Worth, Texas, while collecting 1,333 wins. For 47 seasons, he coached at Dunbar and I.M. Terrell, ultimately winning five state championships. The 89-year-old has been retired for years, but attended his announcement ceremony in Arizona during the Final Four earlier this year. You can read more about his career here.