SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - All ten members of the Class of 2014 boast impressive records. The Immaculata University’s 1972-74 women’s team pioneered the path for women in basketball, Nat Clifton was one of the first African Americans to play in the NBA, and in some cases, the presenters drew just as much attention as the new Hall of Famers.
Miami Heat President Pat Riley introduced seven-time all star Alonzo Mourning. NBA legends Larry Bird and Magic Johnson presented former NBA Commissioner, David Stern.
Also in attendance, current commissioner Adam Silver. 22News talked to him about David Stern’s induction into the Hall of Fame. He said, “Anyone else who is as deserving is already in, so it’s just a culmination of an incredible career.”
In his speech, Alonzo Mourning credited everyone he worked with for getting him to where he is now. He said, “It is my name that will be listed here in this incredible facility here in Springfield but this is honor is not about me. No one goes to basketball games by themselves just as no one goes through life alone.”
Before the ceremony inside Symphony Hall, the Red Carpet Event welcomed all the NBA stars to Springfield. Dozens of basketball fans lined Court Street in Springfield Friday night, as past and recently added Basketball Hall of Famers arrived at Symphony Hall for the 2014 enshrinement ceremony.
Elijah Riversa said, “We are actually speechless. We can’t even.” While Nelson Rivera said, “Yeah, that was pretty awesome. To get this close to former NBA players and Hall of Famers. To get this close to them. Waving at them, and they are waving back. That’s pretty awesome.”
Former NBA Commissioner David Stern and NBA all-star Alonzo Mourning headlined the Class of 2014, but some fans were even more excited to catch a glimpse of Larry Bird and Magic Johnson.
Many fans told 22News Springfield should be proud to be the birthplace of basketball. A game, they believe, brought families and communities together and improved lives.
Maximillian Nieves-Roque said, “Origination of basketball, you know what I mean. It’s huge. Without basketball, there is no Larry Bird. There is no David Stern. There is no Michael. And those guys have touched a lot of people’s hearts in ways I can’t even describe.”
Enshrinement Class of 2014
- Bob Leonard
- Nat Clifton
- Sarunas Marciulionis
- Guy Rogers
- David Stern
- Alonzo Mourning
- Nolan Richardson
- Mitch Richmond
- Gary Williams
- Immaculata University