The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced the nine honorees in the Class of 2020, which included three of the most impactful women in basketball.
As previously announced, in light of the unique circumstance surrounding the Class of 2020, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Election Process Committee suspended the Direct Election Categories for one year except for the International Committee. This year’s distinguished class includes honorees from the North American committee, Women’s Committee and International Committee. To be elected, North American and Women’s Committee finalists must receive 18 of 24 votes from the Honors Committee for election into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
The Class of 2020 includes 18-time NBA All-Star and five-time NBA champion Kobe Bryant, 15-time NBA All-Star and three-time NBA Finals MVP Tim Duncan, 15-time NBA All-Star and nine-time NBA All-Defensive First Team selection Kevin Garnett, four-time National Coach of the Year Eddie Sutton, two-time NBA Champion coach Rudy Tomjanovich, 10-time WNBA All-Star and four-time Olympic gold medalist Tamika Catchings, three-time NCAA National Championship Coach of Baylor Kim Mulkey, five-time Division II National Coach of the Year Barbara Stevens and longtime FIBA executive Patrick Baumann.
“The Class of 2020 is undoubtedly one of the most historic of all time, and the talent and social influence of these nine honorees is beyond measure,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
“In 2020, the basketball community has suffered the unimaginable loss of iconic figures Commissioner David Stern and Kobe Bryant, as well as the game itself due to COVID-19. We have also banded together like never before in appreciation of the game and those who have made it the uniting force it is today. Today we thank the Class of 2020 for all they have done for the game of basketball, and we look forward to celebrating them at Enshrinement in August.”
The selection Women’s committee is an exciting one with three of the most impactful women of our times;
Tamika Catchings (WNBA Player) – Catchings is a 10-time WNBA All-Star (2002, 2003, 2005-2007, 2009, 2011, 2013-2015) and four-time Olympic gold medalist (2004, 2008, 2012, 2016). After winning WNBA MVP in 2011, she led the Indiana Fever to a WNBA Championship in 2012 while collecting WNBA Finals MVP honours. She played her entire 14-year WNBA career with the Fever while being named WNBA Defensive Player of the Year five times (2005, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2012) and Rookie of the Year in 2002. As the WNBA all-time steals leader, Catchings was named a member of the WNBA Top 20 Players in the league’s 20-year history in 2016.
With Pat Summitt’s Lady Vols, Catchings won a national championship in 1998 and was named a four-time Kodak First Team All- American (1998, 1999, 2000, 2001), as well as the consensus National Player of the Year in 2000.
Kim Mulkey (Coach) – Mulkey has led the Baylor Bears to three NCAA National Championships (2005, 2012, 2019) and ranks third all-time among head coaches in win percentage. In 2012, Mulkey was named the Consensus National College Coach of the Year earning the Naismith Coach of the Year, Associated Press College Basketball Coach of the Year, WBCA National Coach of the Year and USBWA National Coach of the Year.
As the head coach of Baylor since 2000, she has guided her team to 17 NCAA Tournament appearances including 13 Sweet Sixteens, eight Elite Eights and four Final Four appearances. Her Baylor squad has also won 10 Big 12 regular season championships (2005, 2011-2019) and 10 Big 12 Tournament championships (2005, 2009, 2011-2016, 2018), earning her Big 12 Coach of the Year honours seven times (2005, 2011- 2013, 2015, 2018-2019). Mulkey is the first person, male or female, to win a national championship as a player, assistant coach and head coach.
Barbara Stevens (Coach) – Coaching in the collegiate ranks for over 40 years, Stevens is the fifth coach in NCAA women’s basketball history to reach 1,000 career wins. She has been named the Russell Athletic / WBCA Division II National Coach of the Year five times (1992, 1999, 2001, 2013, 2014) and Northeast-10 Coach of the Year 15 times (1988, 1989, 1991-1993, 1996-2001, 2003, 2011, 2014, 2018).
As the head coach of Bentley University since 1986, she has guided her team to 22 25-win seasons and ten trips to the Division II Fab Four, including a national championship in 2014. Stevens has been inducted into the New England Basketball Hall of Fame (2002) and Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame (2006).
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