(Reuters) – Alonzo Mourning, a defensive specialist who came back from a kidney transplant to win an NBA title with the Miami Heat, was among those named to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame yesterday.
The class of 2014, which will be inducted Aug. 8 at a ceremony in Springfield, Massachusetts, will include recently retired NBA commissioner David Stern.
It was announced just weeks after his retirement in February that Stern, who oversaw the NBA for 30 years, would go directly into the Hall.
Mourning, widely respected for his extensive charity and community work, was a seven-time NBA All-Star who was twice named the league’s defensive player of the year before he retired in 2009.
He was diagnosed with a kidney disease that forced him to miss the first five months of the 2000-01 NBA season. Mourning played most of the next campaign but missed the entire 2002-03 season when his condition worsened.
He ended up playing for three different teams during his career, including two stints with the Heat, a team he helped to their first championship in 2006.
Also entering the basketball shrine are former NBA All-Star Mitch Richmond, an elite scorer who won an NBA title with the Los Angeles Lakers, and NCAA championship-winning coaches Nolan Richardson and Gary Williams.
The women’s basketball team from Immaculata College, which won three consecutive national championships during the 1970s, was chosen.