The Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame will officially announce the class of 2013 next week. College coach Rick Pitino and New York Knicks player Bernard King are expected to be inducted alongside Gary Payton.
Former NBA stars Gary Payton, Tim Hardaway and Mitch Richmond head the list of 12 finalists to be considered for induction, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced Friday.
That trio, which accounted for 19 All-Star Game appearances, are among a group of first-time finalists that also includes three-time national women?s coach of the year Sylvia Hatchell, two-time NBA championship coach Tom Heinsohn and five-time WNBA All-Star Dawn Staley.
The Class of 2013 will be announced April 8 at the men?s Final Four in Atlanta.
Also named as finalists Friday were six men who previously have been finalists: four-time NBA All-Star Maurice Cheeks, four-time NBA All-Star Spencer Haywood, four-time NBA All-Star Bernard King, five-time NCAA Final Four coach Guy V. Lewis, six-time NCAA Final Four coach Rick Pitino and four-time NCAA Final Four coach Jerry Tarkanian.
"We are proud to share an incredible group of finalists for the Class of 2013?a distinct list of coaches and players who excelled at many levels of basketball," said Jerry Colangelo, chairman of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Board of Governors. "It will be a difficult decision for the Honors Committee to select the final class members from this prestigious group of individuals, each of whom has given so much to the game."
A finalist needs 18 of 24 votes from the Honors Committee for election into the Hall of Fame.
Also announced Friday were five Direct Elects who are the initial members of the Class of 2013. They include Roger Brown, voted in from the American Basketball[..]ociation Committee; Edwin B. Henderson, from the Early African American Pioneers Committee; Oscar Schmidt, from the International Committee; Richie Guerin, from the Veterans Committee; and former NBA deputy commissioner Russ Granik, from the Contributor Direct Election Committee.