December 23, 2020 

Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announces Class of 2021 candidates

Lauren Jackson, Yolanda Griffith among first-time women's basketball figures included

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Lauren Jackson. (Photo: Seattle Storm via Twitter)

The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced the list of eligible individuals for inclusion in the Class of 2021 on Tuesday, among them first-time nominees Lauren Jackson, Yolanda Griffith, Val Ackerman and Michael Cooper.

Perhaps Australia’s best to ever play the game, Jackson won four Olympic medals, was a seven-time WNBA All-Star, three-time WNBA MVP and won two titles with the Seattle Storm. Part of the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2020, Jackson now serves as Basketball Australia’s Head of Women in Basketball.

An eight-time WNBA All-Star, former MVP and title-winner with the Sacramento Monarchs, Griffith began her domestic career in the American Basketball League before joining the WNBA in 1999. She won two Olympic gold medals with Team USA and was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2014. Griffith is currently an assistant coach at Boston College.

Ackerman, the commissioner of the Big East since 2013, was the first president of the WNBA, a position she held for the league’s first eight seasons. From there, she served as the first woman president of USA Basketball, and in 2011 she was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame.

Former Los Angeles Sparks, Atlanta Dream and USC head coach Cooper was nominated for his playing career in the NBA.

The newcomers join ballot returners including Becky Hammon, Jennifer Azzi, Marianne Stanley and Kim Mulkey.

In keeping with the Hall’s regular time frame, the Class of 2021 will be announced in conjunction with the NCAA Final Four in April 2021, with the enshrinement ceremony taking place in September.

The enshrinement ceremony for the Class of 2020, which includes Indiana Fever general manager Tamika Catchings and Baylor head coach Mulkey, was postponed due to COVID-19 and is now scheduled to take place in May 2021.

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