Back in March of this year, the NBA announced the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Inductees for 2018 at the NCAA Final Four competition. This weekend, the inductees were formally enshrined and it was a truly special and emotional moment for everyone involved.
This newest class of Hall of Fame greats expressed their feelings about this pivotal moment in their lives by reflecting back on their individual journeys, writing letters to their younger selves, and offering up advice to those looking to pursue their dreams.
This year’s enshrined legends include:
- Ray Allen
- Maurice Cheeks
- Lefty Driesell
- Grant Hill
- Jason Kidd
- Steve Nash
- Dino Radja
- Charlie Scott
- Katie Smith
- Tina Thompson
- Rod Thorn
- Ora Mae Washington
- Rick Welts
One after the other, the inductees took the stage to share their inspiration, and one couldn’t help but be deeply moved by their personal accounts. Allen told listeners that he, “Tried to get better every day.” Hill stated that, “It’s truly something humbling.” Kidd said, “It’s the best.” And, Nash described it as, “Beyond my wildest dreams.”
Tina Thompson delivered a heart felt “thank you” to her parents who followed her around the country as she traveled to play. She explained that her family supported her and put up with her in ways that not many people would. She expressed her gratitude for the care they gave to her son as she looked after her career responsibilities ensuring her peace of mind.
— NBA TV (@NBATV) September 8, 2018
Thorn took a moment to thank the game of basketball itself stating,
“Which has not only been one of the unforgettable memories for me over the last 50 years, but has also taught me a lot of valuable lessons. Like integrity, perseverance, and the importance of building strong relationships. And that it doesn’t matter where you’re from, and it doesn’t matter what you look like. If you’ve got game, you can play. You can be successful.”
As a fan of Hill during the years he played for the Orlando Magic, I was excited to hear his thoughts during the ceremony. One of the youngest inductees in this year’s class of inductees, Hill was praised for a successful career on the court, and a continuing involvement on TV as a commentator and analyst. He noted how his situation was unique in that he either has a personal relationship, or was a fan of all of his fellow class-mates. He described the feeling of respect and admiration he has for everyone he is entering in the Hall of Fame with, and how sharing this moment with these people has made it so much more profound for him personally.
Hill also took some time to thank Coach Mike Krzyzewski “Coach K”, for giving him the blueprint to his dream. Hill thanked his college coach from Duke University for teaching him how to lead, and how to play defense, but above all, Hill thanked Coach K for teaching him to believe in himself stating that his coach gave him permission to be great.
— NBA TV (@NBATV) September 7, 2018
The ceremony was filled with gratitude, love and it was truly inspiring to witness. It reminds me of why I love sports, and the game of basketball in particular. It’s incredible to be able to experience greatness and feel a part of the love and respect everyone shares for each other in the NBA community.
NBA TV will likely air the ceremony multiple times over the course of the coming week so if you haven’t watched it I encourage you to tune in.