Arlington, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - NBA All-Stars Alonzo Mourning and Mitch Richmond, along with NCAA championship coaches Nolan Richardson and Gary Williams are among this year's inductees for the Basketball Hall of Fame.
Joining the quartet in the Class of 2014 will be the Immaculata University women's basketball team and five directly-elected members previously announced in February.
The five previously announced electees were former NBA commissioner David Stern, voted in by the Contributor's Committee, Sarunas Marciulionis by the International Committee, Bob "Slick" Leonard by the American Basketball Association Committee, Guy Rodgers by the Veteran's Committee, and Nate "Sweetwater" Clifton by the African-American Pioneers Committee.
"This 2014 class is a highly distinguished group of individuals who represent many decades and eras of basketball," said Jerry Colangelo, Chairman of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Board. "Each year, we follow the tradition of recognizing those who have been leaders in the game of basketball, and this is a special year with a remarkable group of inductees."
Enshrinement ceremonies are set for Aug. 8 in Springfield, Mass.
Mourning, a seven-time NBA All-Star, won back-to-back NBA Defensive Player of the Year awards (1998-99, 1999-00) and helped the 2006 Miami Heat to the NBA title, making a comeback to the league after receiving a transplant to his ailing kidney. His career average of 2.8 blocks per game ranks sixth all-time over 16 seasons with Miami, Charlotte and New Jersey. The former Georgetown star was named to the NBA's All-Defensive First Team in 1999 and 2000 and also won an Olympic gold medal with Team USA at the 2000 Summer Olympics.
Richmond was a six-time NBA All-Star and the league's top rookie in 1989 with Golden State. He also played for Sacramento, Washington and the Lakers in a 14-year career, winning an NBA title with Los Angeles in 2002, and averaged more than 21 points per game for 10 consecutive seasons. The former Kansas State star won an Olympic bronze medal in 1988 and a gold medal in 1996.
Richardson guided the Arkansas Razorbacks to two straight Final Fours and three overall, winning the 1994 national championship over Duke before a loss to UCLA the following year. He won the SEC Coach of the Year in 1998 and also guided Tulsa to an NIT title in 1981, compiling a record of 509-207 over 22 years with Arkansas and Tulsa.
Williams led the 2002 Maryland Terrapins to a 32-4 overall record en route to the national championship. He posted a 668-380 record over 33 seasons with Maryland, American University, Boston College and Ohio State. His teams made 17 NCAA Tournament appearances.
Immaculata, guided by coach Cathy Rush, won three straight AIAW national championships from 1972-74, with an overall record of 60-2 in those three seasons. The Mighty Macs then lost in the final in the next two seasons before finishing third in Rush's final year of 1977.
Stern just completed a 30-year run as commissioner of the NBA in February. During his tenure, the league expanded from 23 to 30 teams and television revenue increased from $10 million per year to approximately $900 million per year. He implemented several rule changes to improve the game, instituted the NBA Draft Lottery and managed the relocation of six franchises while making the NBA one of the most popular sports leagues in the world.
Marciulionis, a native of Lithuania, became the first Soviet player in the NBA. In his seven NBA seasons, Marciulionis averaged 12.8 points and 1.3 steals per game. He was a principal figure in developing basketball in Lithuania, resurrecting the national team in the early 1990s and leading the movement to participate in the 1992 Olympics.
Leonard is the winningest coach in ABA history, having compiled an overall ABA coaching record of 387-270. He led the Indiana Pacers to ABA titles in 1970, 1972 and 1973, along with finals appearances in 1969 and 1975.
Rodgers, who died in 2001, was a four-time NBA All-Star in the 1960s after leading Temple University to the Final Four in 1956 and '58. In his 12 NBA seasons, Rodgers averaged 11.7 points and 7.7 assists. He led the NBA in assists in 1963 and 1967.
Clifton, who died in 1990, is known for being the second piece in the NBA's first Big Three as the first African-American to sign an NBA contract. He joins Chuck Cooper and Earl Lloyd in what many call basketball's version of the Holy Trinity.
Finalists needed 18 of 24 votes from the Honors Committee for election into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Among those not elected were Tim Hardaway, Spencer Haywood, Kevin Johnson and Eddie Sutton.