The Pelican Blog

Former Xavier star Nat Clifton named to Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
By: Pelicans.com

The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced Monday the 10 members of the Class of 2014 to be honored Aug. 7-9, 2014 during this year’s Enshrinement Ceremonies. Former Xavier star Nat Clifton, former NBA Commissioner David Stern and seven-time NBA All-Star Alonzo Mourning headlined the list.

The others: Immaculata University’s AIAW National Championship teams of the early 1970s, 1994 Naismith, NABC Coach of the Year Nolan Richardson, six-time NBA All-Star Mitch Richmond and NCAA national championship coach Gary Williams, Bob Leonard, Sarunas Marciulionis and Guy Rodgers from the Veterans Committee.

Here is Clifton's bio from the Naismith press release: Nathaniel “Sweetwater” Clifton 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. Clifton recorded 5,444 points (10.0 ppg) and 4,469 rebounds (8.2 rpg) in eight NBA seasons. Having had experience with the Harlem Globetrotters, Clifton reveled in the spotlight and shined at the 1957 NBA All-Star Game, where he recorded eight points, 11 rebounds and three assists. He also shares the single-game record for field goals with 21 at Xavier. Clifton died Aug. 31, 1990 and is an enshrinee in the Black Athletes Hall of Fame.