Thu. Jul 18th, 2024

Former Toronto Raptor Vince Carter, Chauncey Billups, and Other Basketball Legends Headline 2024 Hall of Fame Class

Glendale, Ariz. witnessed the announcement of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2024 during Final Four Saturday, featuring an esteemed group of 13 honorees.

Among them are former NBA stars such as Chauncey Billups, now the head coach of the Portland Trail Blazers, renowned dunk specialist Vince Carter, defensive guru Michael Cooper of the Los Angeles Lakers, and Phoenix Suns legend Walter Davis.

Carter, an eight-time All-Star with a remarkable 22-season career and 25,728 points scored, expressed profound emotions about the honor, stating, “It’s mind-blowing for me. I enjoyed playing the game of basketball every day. I’m just overjoyed.”

Billups, renowned as “Mr. Big Shot” for his clutch performances, achieved five All-Star appearances and the 2004 NBA Finals MVP title during his illustrious 17-season career. Reflecting on the induction, he remarked, “It really is crazy. I’ve spent a lot of the past few days being speechless knowing I was going into what I call ‘Basketball Heaven.'”

Cooper, celebrated for his defensive prowess across 12 NBA seasons and five championship wins with the Lakers, joins the prestigious class, as does Davis, a six-time All-Star and leading scorer in Phoenix Suns history.

Additionally, former New York Knicks star Dick Barnett, former Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan, and Louisiana high school coaching legend Charles Smith will be honored as coaches. Notably, Ryan secured 747 overall wins as a college coach, while Smith claimed nine high school championships in Louisiana.

Seimone Augustus, a four-time WNBA champion and eight-time All-Star, will be inducted into the Hall of Fame alongside the late Harley Redin, renowned for coaching the Wayland Baptist women for 18 seasons.

Michelle Timms, a former WNBA star, was selected by the Hall of Fame’s International Committee, while Doug Collins, Herb Simon (Indiana Pacers owner), and Jerry West (player/executive) were named as contributors.

Of significance, West becomes the first Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame member to be inducted both as a player and contributor.

The induction ceremonies are scheduled for Aug. 16 and 17 in Springfield, Mass., and Uncasville, Conn.

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