Hoop Hall of Fame Fnalists Are Announced

By BASN Wire Services
Updated: February 15, 2008

SPRINGFIELD, Ma. — Hakeem Olajuwon, who led the University of Houston to three straight Final Fours and the Houston Rockets to back-to-back NBA titles; Patrick Ewing, a two time Olympic Gold Medalist, 1984 NCAA Champion at Georgetown and 11-time NBA All-Star; and Pat Riley, head coach of the Miami Heat who has captured a total of five NBA championships as a coach with the Heat and Lakers, were named as Finalists for election to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in their first year of eligibility.

In addition, NBA and Notre Dame scoring legend Adrian Dantley, the late Dennis Johnson, former St. John’s and NBA standout Chris Mullin, current Golden State Warriors coach Don Nelson and ESPN sportscaster Dick Vitale highlight a list of 15 individuals named as Finalists for election into the Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2008. The announcement was made Friday in New Orleans in conjunction with the 2008 NBA All-Star Weekend festivities.

The complete list of 15 Finalists includes a total of 10 candidates from the North American Screening Committee — players Ewing, Dantley, Johnson, Olajuwon and Mullin; coaches Nelson and Riley; and contributors Victor Bubas, Bill Davidson and Vitale.

Two candidates each comprise Finalists from the Veteran’s Screening Committee — player Richie Guerin and contributor Johnny ‘Red’ Kerr – and the International Screening Committee — coach Togo Soares and player Maciel Ubiratan Pereira (both of Brazil), with coach Cathy Rush representing the lone nominee from the Women’s Screening Committee.

Ewing, Olajuwon and Riley are Finalists in their first year of consideration by their respective Screening Committees. Soares and Pereira are first-time Finalists who have previously been reviewed by Screening Committees.

Bubas, Dantley, Davidson, Guerin, Johnson, Kerr, Mullin, Nelson, Rush and Vitale have been named Finalists in prior years. The Class of 2008 will be announced on Monday, April 7 at a news conference in San Antonio prior to the NCAA’s Men’s Division I Championship game.

A finalist needs 18 of 24 votes from the Honors Committee for election into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. The Class of 2008 will be enshrined during festivities in Springfield on September 4-6, 2008.

Tickets to the 2008 Enshrinement Gala and all weekend activities are available by calling the Hall of Fame at (413) 781-6500 .

NOTE: More ticket information is also available on line at www.hoophall.com.