June 4, 2023 

FIBA Hall of Fame picks Katrina McClain, Penny Taylor and others for class of 2023

Class of 2023 will be honored in August ahead of the FIBA Basketball World Cup

On Friday, FIBA announced that Katrina McClain, Penny Taylor, Amaya Valdemoro and Valerie Garnier will be inducted into the FIBA Hall of Fame as part of the 12-member Class of 2023. They will be honored at a ceremony in Manila, Philippines, on Aug. 23, before the FIBA Basketball World Cup.

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Amaya Valdemoro

She made her professional debut in the Spanish league at just 16 years old. Valdemoro was selected with the 30th pick in the 1998 WNBA Draft and won three consecutive championships with the Houston Comets before returning to Valencia, Spain and accruing two league wins and three cups with Ros Casares… From 2000 to 2013, she continued her overseas play, including three seasons with the Russian Premier League, winning one league championship and three World Cups. The majority of her overseas play occurred in Spain.

In 2008, she made another return to Valencia. She played in her hometown, winning the 2011 Spanish Cup and led her team to the EuroLeague Final. Valdemoro averaged 10.6 points per game throughout her career, played in the 2004 and 2008 Olympics, and won eight European and four World Championships.

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Katrina McClain

McClain is one of the most decorated athletes in USA basketball history. Playing at the University of Georgia, McClain’s teams had a 116-15 record, and she earned All-American honors in 1985 and National College Player of the Year in 1987.

McClain continued her career internationally in Japan, Italy, Spain and Turkey. Her overseas play brought her three medals at the World Championships, gold and bronze medals at the Pan American Games, two golds at the Goodwill Games, and a silver at Universiade. She holds three Olympic medals, gold in 1988 and 1996 and bronze in 1992. In 2012, she was named to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Yuko Oga

She made her debut at the 2004 Summer Olympics, representing Japan as the youngest Japanese female basketball player. Oga was the second Japanese player to play in the WNBA, following that of Mikiko Hagiwara. Although 10 years apart, they also played for the Phoenix Mercury. Throughout her 13-year career, she averaged 10.8 points per game, 2.5 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game. She is a 9x Women’s Japan Basketball League (WJBL) champion, WJBL Most Valuable Player, and the 2010 FIBA World Championship for women scoring leader.

Since 2018, she has transitioned to coaching Japan’s FIBA 3×3 Under-23 World Cup and the FIBA 3×3 Women’s Series for Japan. Both her squads won gold medals in 2019.

Penny Taylor

Taylor was a decorated winner in her 19-year career. A clutch performer, an offensive juggernaut and a scary defender in the paint, Taylor’s career started at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS). Playing in Australia’s Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL), she became a champion in only her second season in 1999.

Starting in 2002, she played for the Australian national team, the Opals – competing and winning in four world championships. In 2006, the Opals won the world championship in Brazil, where she was named Most Valuable Player. Her overseas play continued during her career in the WNBA, playing in Italy, Russia and Turkey.

During her time with the Phoenix Mercury, she won three championships (2007, 2009 and 2014) and was named an All-Star three times. In 2014, she averaged 10.5 points per game, and the Mercury had the best record in league history at 29-5. Following her retirement in 2016, she returned to the Mercury as the director of player development and performance. In 2019, she was hired as an assistant coach for the team before stepping away to focus on motherhood.

Valerie Garnier

Garnier is one of two coaches to be honored this summer. She is the French national team head coach, whose team participated in the 2014 FIBA World Championship. Five times the French national team has received second place at the EuroBasket.

Written by Caylen Johnson

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