Rodman one of 12 finalists for 2011 Hall of Fame

Statement from Dennis Rodman:

"I am honored to get named a finalist for this years Basketball Hall of Fame class. Its truly humbling to be honored as an individual for a team sport. To get to the next step and actually being an inductee for the 2011 class would be incredible but most of all it would be an amazing experience for my kids and to secure my legacy."

Feb. 18, 2011 (LOS ANGELES, Calif. and SPRINGFIELD, Mass.) – The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame today announced an elite list of players, coaches, contributors, officials and teams as the 12 finalists to be considered for election in 2011. The recognition of being honored as a Hall of Fame finalist is a career highlight in the sport of basketball. This year’s list includes five-time NBA all-star and two-time Olympic gold medalist Chris Mullin; five-time NBA champion Dennis Rodman; two-time NCAA champion coach Tara VanDerveer and the all-time NCAA wins leader, Division II coach Herb Magee. Mullin joins previous finalists Jamaal Wilkes and Tex Winter to be considered for enshrinement. The announcement was made today in Los Angeles, as part of the 2011 NBA All-Star Weekend.

The Hall of Fame election process will also have a new look with the 2011 class. In previous years, four separate screening committees – North American, Women’s, International and Veteran’s – have reviewed the candidacies of more than 100 nominations. This year, there will be the addition of the newly formed American Basketball Association (ABA) and Early African-American Pioneers of the Game committees. Developed to maintain a strong focus on keeping history on the forefront of the voting process, these specialist committees will preserve a balance between two eras of basketball. Both the ABA and Early African-American Pioneers committees will each select one directly-elected Enshrinee for the annual Hall of Fame class, but since these single selected Electees are not designated as Finalists, the selections will be announced with the final class in April.

“An important role of the Hall of Fame is recognizing and celebrating the history of the game of basketball,” said Jerry Colangelo, chairman of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Board of Governors. “The addition of the ABA Committee and Early African-American Pioneers of the Game Committee help ensure that we have experts that put the game into historical context and show the true diversity that has helped shape the modern game.”

The complete list of finalists include from the North American Screening Committee: players Maurice Cheeks, Chris Mullin, Dennis Rodman, Ralph Sampson and Jamaal Wilkes; coaches Herb Magee, Dick Motta and Tex Winter; contributor Alvin Attles and referee Hank Nichols. From the Women’s Screening Committee: Teresa Edwards and Tara VanDerveer.

The Class of 2011 will be announced on Monday, April 4 at a news conference in Houston prior to the NCAA’s Men’s Championship game. A Finalist needs 18 of 24 votes from the Honors Committee for election into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. The Class of 2011 will be enshrined during festivities in Springfield, Mass. on Friday, August 12. Tickets to the 2011 Enshrinement and Induction Celebration are available by calling the Hall of Fame at (413) 231-5550.

Women’s Committee Nominees

TERESA EDWARDS – Player, was the first American basketball player to participate in five Olympic games – winning gold in four of them and bronze in the fifth. In college, she was a two-time Kodak All-America selection while leading Georgia twice to the Final Four. For her efforts, she has been elected to the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, National High School Sports Hall of Fame, Georgia Sports Hall of Fame and US Olympic Hall of Fame.

TARA VANDERVEER – Coach, began her collegiate coaching career in 1978 and continues today at Stanford University. She has guided the Cardinal to two NCAA championships and has won nearly 800 games in her tenure. At the International level, she has won Olympic gold in 1996 as well as gold in the Goodwill Games and World University Games. She has been named a three-time national coach of the year and has guided teams to eight Final Fours.

North American Committee Finalists:

ALVIN ATTLES – Contributer, has contributed 50 consecutive years of service to the Golden State Warriors as a player, player-coach, coach, general manager, vice president and consultant. He became the winningest coach in Warriors history and led the Warriors to the 1975 NBA Championship. Currently, he serves as the vice president/assistant general manager of the Warriors, a position he has held since 1987.

MAURICE CHEEKS – Player, has been involved in the NBA either at the playing level or coaching level since 1978. As a player, he has be named to four NBA all-star games, a four-time NBA all-defensive team selection, member of one NBA championship team and set the steals and assist records for Philadelphia. This Chicago native would then go onto coaching careers with the Portland Trail Blazers and Philadelphia 76ers.

HERB MAGEE – Coach, he has won more than 900 games at Division II Philadelphia University where he has coached since 1966. His victory count is good for first all-time in NCAA basketball history for any level at the same institution and he continues to be active today at Philly U. He has guided the school to 25 NCAA Division II Tournament appearances, has won 20 or more games in 30 years and has one NCAA National Championship.

DICK MOTTA – Coach, had success at all levels of the game – starting at the junior college level in 1954. He’s collected more than 1,000 victories while at the junior college, high school, collegiate and NBA levels. He guided the Washington Bullets to the 1978 NBA Championship, won NBA Coach of the Year in 1971, led Weber State to two Big Sky regular season championships, and won a state high school championship at Grace High School.

CHRIS MULLIN – Player, a high school All-America from New York City, he was a five-time NBA all-star and collegiate standout at St. John’s, where he was named Big East Player of the Year an unprecedented three times. He won two Olympic gold medals, including one as a member of the 1992 ‘Dream Team’, and his 16 NBA seasons with Golden State and Indiana produced over 17,000 points, 3,000 rebounds and 3,000 assists. He was an NBA first team pick in 1992, and still holds the all-time scoring record at St. John’s, where he was named the Wooden Award Winner and a Sporting News All-America in 1985.

HANK NICHOLS – Referee, focused his career in basketball around the rules of the game. A long-time NCAA basketball official who has refereed six national championship games and 10 final fours – officiated at the top of collegiate basketball for decades. He officiated on the world stage officiating two Olympic games and one European championship. After his officiating career, he would become the national coordinator of officials for the NCAA and was instrumental in the progression of rules changes at the collegiate level.

DENNIS RODMAN – Player, known for his rebounding and defensive skills – he would win five NBA championships, three with Chicago and two with Detroit. Named the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year twice, he was named to a total of seven all-defensive first teams while being selected to two NBA all-star games. His rebounding statistics still rank as some of the best in history.

RALPH SAMPSON – Player, one of the top collegiate players of all-time, he would be recognized as the only three-time national player of the year and was chosen also a consensus All-America at Virginia. His accolades at the collegiate level also included being named Wooden Award and Naismith Award winners while leading Virginia to the NIT championship and one final four appearance. In the NBA, he was named to three NBA all-star games, collected Rookie of the Year honors and was named MVP of the NBA all-star game in 1985.

JAMAAL WILKES – Player, this California native played under Hall of Famer John Wooden at UCLA prior to a successful NBA career with the Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers. At UCLA, he would win two National Championships and receive All-America honors in 1974. His NBA career would be highlighted by four NBA Championships, being named a three-time NBA all-star and received Rookie of the Year honors in 1975.

TEX WINTER – Coach, began his coaching career in 1947 as an assistant with Kansas State University and continued at the collegiate and NBA levels until 2006. He was part of nine NBA championships with the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers and is known for building the foundation of the triangle-post offense, which helped form dynasties at the Bulls and Lakers. He was the youngest coach in college basketball history to receive Coach of the Year honors and guided Kansas State to six NCAA appearances and two final fours.

About the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame:Located in Springfield, Massachusetts, the birthplace of basketball, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame promotes and preserves the game of basketball at every level – professional, collegiate, men and women. For more information, please visit our website at www.hoophall.com or call the Basketball Hall of Fame at 1-877-4-HOOPLA.