- Basketball Hall of Fame
The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, located in downtown
Springfield, Massachusetts, honors players who have shown exceptional skill at basketball, all-time great coaches, referees, and other major contributors to the game. It is separate from the Naismith Museum & Basketball Hall of Fame in Almonte, Ontario. Six entire teams have been inducted—Naismith's First Team, the Buffalo Germans, the New York Renaissance, the Original Celtics, the Harlem Globetrotters, and most recently the 1966 Texas Western team. [hoophall.com, [http://www.hoophall.com/genrel/040207aab.html Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announces seven members of the class of 2007] , accessed February 16, 2008.] The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame's mission preserves and promotes the game at all levels and serves as basketball's ultimate library of history.
It was established in 1959, with fundraising leading to an actual building opened to the public on
February 17, 1968, at Springfield Collegein Springfield, Massachusetts, United States. In 1985 a new building off-campus was opened near downtown Springfield on the east bank of the Connecticut River.
September 28, 2002, the Hall of Fame found its third home in a new $45 million, 80,000 square foot (7,400 m²) shrine to the sport, located just south of the previous Hall of Fame. The building was designed by the New York firm, Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects.Citation
title=Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
The facility's bolder architecture features a large, silver, semi-spherical structure (resembling a giant basketball) several stories high and a tall spire topped with an orange globe. Although reminiscent of the
Trylon and Perisphereof the 1939 New York World's Fair, the Gwathmey Siegel firm denies that reference - claiming instead that the firm's designs often employ raw geometric forms.
The hall is surrounded by a shopping center of retail outlets (Adidas and HOF Gift Shop) and restaurants (Max's Tavern, Pazzo Ristorante, and McDonalds). The new Hall of Fame is much more user friendly and involves a far greater level of technology. It is divided into three floors:Honors Ring: Level looking over the entire museum in which all of the enshrined members have a photo and short display with artifacts representing them.Second Floor: includes such areas as the Players Gallery, Hooperactive Zone, Coaches Gallery, Broadcast Section, and College Section. This floor houses the majority of the artifacts as well as information on all different forms of the game as well as the invention by James Naismith.Center Court: A full-sized collegiate basketball court open to the public to take shots. There are a number of different hoops through the years in addition to a slam dunk area and a trivia challenge.
Criteria for induction
Because the Hall—in contrast to the
Pro Football Hall of Fameand the Baseball Hall of Fame—honors not only American professionals but also international professionals and American and international amateurs, 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 consideration. [hoophall.com, [http://www.hoophall.com/ot/bhof-enshrinement.html Guidelines For Nomination and Election Into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame] , accessed
February 16, 2008.]
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 temporal criterion is enforced for the election of contributors, who must have made a "significant contribution to the game of basketball". Unlike the Baseball Hall of Fame, sportswriters and commentators in the Basketball Hall of Fame (such as
Chick Hearnand Dick Vitale) are full-fledged members.
Controversy has arisen over many aspects of the Hall's voting procedures including the anonymity of the voters. The other major sports' Halls of Fame make the debate transparent and sportswriters and other voters openly debate their choices. Springfield has also been widely criticized for its tendency to enshrine active collegiate coaches and relatively obscure players, while there are highly notable omissions such as
Guy Lewis[h-association.com, [http://h-association.com/index.cfm/MenuItemID/218.htm "A Hall of Fame Record"] , accessed March 5, 2008.] and Artis Gilmore. [espn.com, [http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/columns/story?id=2394981 "Hall of Fame still neglecting a few greats"] , accessed March 5, 2008.] [remembertheaba.com, [http://www.remembertheaba.com/ABAArticles/BallantiniATrainArticle.html "It's Time for the A-Train to Make a Stop at the Hall"] , accessed March 5, 2008.] [jacksonville.com, [http://www.jacksonville.com/tu-online/stories/022204/spf_14883805.shtml "Gilmore still waiting for his Hall pass"] , accessed March 5, 2008.]
After the induction of the Class of 2008, the Hall had honored 285 individuals.
John Wooden, Lenny Wilkens, and Bill Sharmanhave each been inducted as both a player (Wooden in 1961, Sharman in 1976, and Wilkens in 1989) and a coach (Wooden in 1973, Wilkens in 1998, and Sharman in 2004). [hoophall.com, [http://www.hoophall.com/halloffamers/bhof-halloffamers-category.html Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Enshrinees By Category] , accessed February 16, 2008.]
The Class of 2007 is the first class since 1968 not to include a player. [hoophall.com, [http://www.hoophall.com/halloffamers/bhof-halloffamers-year.html Year By Year Enshrinees into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame] , accessed
February 16, 2008.]
Other Hall operations
In addition to its role in recognizing prior achievement in various basketball roles, the Hall also recognizes extant achievement in collegiate basketball in conjunction with the Final Four of each year's men's and women's Division I NCAA basketball tournaments. For men, the Hall presents the
Bob Cousy Awardto the top point guardfrom among players in Divisions I, II, and III. This award, given since 2004, is voted on by Bob Cousy, selected media members who cover basketball, selected college basketball coaches, fans, and selected sports information directors. The Hall also presents the Frances Pomeroy Naismith Awardto the female player under 68 inchesin height and the male player under 72 inchesin height who are 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). The women's award, given since 1984, is voted on by members of the Women's Basketball Coaches Association.
List of members of the Basketball Hall of Fame
Women's Basketball Hall of Fame
FIBA Hall of Fame
* [http://www.hoophall.com Official Site]
* [http://www.hoophall.com/history/bhof-history.html Hoop Hall History Page]
* [http://www.naismithmuseum.com Naismith Museum & Basketball Hall of Fame - Almonte, ON]
* [http://www.frozenhoops.com History of amateur and professional basketball in Canada]
* [http://www.hofmag.com/content/category/17/101/168 Basketball HOF at HallOfFameMagazine.com]
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