The NAISMITH MEMORIAL BASKETBALL HALL OF FAME is an American history
museum and hall of fame, located at 1000 Hall of Fame Avenue in
Springfield, Massachusetts . It serves as the sport's most complete
library, in addition to promoting and preserving the history of
basketball . Dedicated to
As of the induction of the Class of 2016 on September 9, 2016, the Hall has formally inducted 354 individuals.
* 1 History of the Springfield building
* 2 Criteria for induction
* 2.1 Controversy
* 3 Inductees * 4 Other Hall awards * 5 See also * 6 References * 7 External links
HISTORY OF THE SPRINGFIELD BUILDING
The Naismith Hall of Fame was established in 1959 by Lee Williams , a former athletic director at Colby College . In the 1960s, the Basketball Hall of Fame struggled to raise enough money for the construction of its first facility. However, during the following half-decade the necessary amount was raised, and the building opened on Feb. 17, 1968, less than one month after the National Basketball Association played its 18th All-Star Game. The Basketball Hall of Fame's Board named four inductees in its first year. In addition to honoring those who contributed to basketball, the Hall of Fame sought to make contributions of its own. In 1979, the Hall of Fame sponsored the Tip-Off Classic, a pre-season college basketball exhibition. This Tip-Off Classic has been the start to the college basketball season ever since, and although it does not always take place in Springfield, Massachusetts, generally it returns every few years.
In the 17 years that the original
Basketball Hall of Fame operated at
In 2002, the Basketball Hall of Fame moved again—albeit merely 100 yards south along Springfield's riverfront—into a $47 million facility designed by renowned architects Gwathmey Siegel however the placement and height of Interstate 91 remain physical obstacles. Urban planners at universities such as UMass Amherst have called for the I-91 to be moved, or to be re-configured so as to be pedestrian-friendly to Hall of Fame visitors. In 2010, the Urban Land Institute announced a plan to make the walk between Springfield's Metro Center and the Hall of Fame (and riverfront) easier. A basketball sculpture soars into the sky above the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts .
CRITERIA FOR INDUCTION
In contrast to the Pro Football and the National Baseball Halls of Fame, Springfield honors international and American professionals, as well as American and international amateurs, making it arguably the most comprehensive Hall of Fame among major sports. Since 2011, the induction process employs a total of seven committees to both screen and elect candidates. Four of these committees screen prospective candidates:
* North American Screening Committee (9 members) * Women's Screening Committee (7 members) * International Screening Committee (7 members) * Veterans Screening Committee (7 members), with "Veterans" defined as individuals whose careers ended at least 35 years before they are considered for election.
Since 2011, the Veterans and International Committees also vote to directly induct one candidate for each induction class.
Three committees formed in 2011 directly elect one candidate for each induction class:
* American Basketball Association Committee - This committee was permanently ceased in 2015 as over the previous five years the ABA Committee had fulfilled its promise.
* Contributor Direct Election Committee
* Note that other committees may choose to elect contributors. For example, the 2014 class included two contributors.
* Early African-American Pioneers of the Game Committee
Individuals who receive at least seven votes from the North American Screening Committee or five votes from one of the other screening committees in a given year are eligible to 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). However, each screening committee is limited as to the number of candidates it can put forth to the Honors Committee—10 from the North American Committee, and two from each other committee. Any individual receiving at least 18 affirmative votes (75% of all votes cast) from the Honors Committee is approved for induction into the Hall of Fame. As long as the number of candidates receiving sufficient votes from a screening committee is not greater than the number of finalists that committee can put forth, 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.
To be considered for induction by a screening committee, a player must be fully retired from play for at least four years (changed from five years in December 2015), while a coach or referee must be fully retired for at least four years or have been active full-time in his/her respective craft on the professional, collegiate or high school level for at least 25 years. No years of service criterion is applied to those who have made a "significant contribution to the game of basketball". Sportswriters and commentators are elected as full-fledged members (in contrast to the Baseball Hall of Fame that places them in separate wings that are not considered in the "real" Hall of Fame).
Controversy has arisen over many aspects of the Hall's voting procedures, including voter anonymity. While sportswriter voters of other major sports' Halls of Fame openly debate their choices, the Naismith Hall does not make the process transparent. The Hall has also been criticized in opinion columns for a tendency to enshrine active collegiate coaches and relatively obscure players while omitting some accomplished players and coaches.
Main article: List of members of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame The entrance to the former site of the Basketball Hall of Fame near Metro Center Springfield.
Since 1959, 345 coaches, players, referees, contributors, and teams
have been inducted, with the most recent class entering on September
John Wooden ,
On three occasions, the Hall has inducted new classes without honoring a player – 1965, 1968, and 2007.
OTHER HALL AWARDS
In conjunction with the Final Four of each year's men's and women's Division I NCAA basketball tournaments the Naismith Hall gives out several awards to college basketball athletes:
For men, the Hall presents the Bob Cousy Award to the top point guard from among players in Divisions I , II , and III . This award, given since 2004, is voted on by Cousy and a selection of basketball writers, college basketball coaches, sports information directors and fans.