Retired NBA great Reggie Miller is one of 12 members to be inducted into the 2012 Class of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, capping off a great career in the sport with 18 seasons in the NBA and retirement years as an TNT analyst.
The five-time All-Star joined longtime NBA coach Don Nelson and college standout Ralph Sampson on Monday (April 2) as part of a 12-member class that is slated to be inducted into the Hall of Fame in September.
Miller’s sister, Cheryl, was enshrined in 1995.
In an interview with ESPN, Mill recalled the story about how his sister would beat him in games of one-on-one growing up. It wasn’t until he’d grew to 6’7″ and could block Cheryl’s shot that they stopped their driveway pick-up games.
“She was a role model. She is a role model. She set the bar high for the family,” Miller said, “and I’m just glad I’m on her coat-tails, dragging me along to the Hall of Fame.”
The 46-year-old started off his basketball career as a standout at UCLA, before joining the NBA and eventually become one of the best perimeter shooters in the history of the game.
Don Nelson is the all-time winningest coach in NBA History with over 1,300 victories, and one of only two coaches to be named NBA Coach of the Year three times (1983, 1985 and 1992). During his career as a player, he earned give NBA championship rings. As a coach and/or general manager, he has led teams to 18 playoff appearances where he amassed 75 playoff wins and is one of only two NBA coaches to win 250 games with three different teams.
In 2007, he led the Golden State Warriors to the first #8 seed upset over a #1 seed in a seven-game series when they defeated the Dallas Mavericks. He also coached Dream Team II to a gold medal in the 1994 World Championships.
The 7’4″ Sampson was one of the most dominant college players ever, and a three-time national player of the year who led Virginia to the Final Four. He was the first overall pick in the NBA draft and a four-time All-Star before injuries finally slowed his career.
In addition to Miller, Nelson, and Sampson, two-time Olympic gold medalist Katrina McClain, distinguished basketball official and coordinator Hank Nichols, former college and NBA star Jamaal Wilkes and the first women’s professional basketball team, the All American Red Heads join them.
The newcomers were joined by five members of the class who were announced during the NBA All-Star Weekend in February: Nike co-founder Phil Knight, ABA star Mel Daniels, seven-time NBA All-Star Chet Walker, Olympian Don Barksdale and Lydija Alexeeva, who led the Soviet Union to two Olympic gold medals.
The Class of 2012 will be enshrined during festivities in Springfield, Mass. on September 7.