NEW YORK, Feb. 14 (Xinhua) -- Former NBA Commissioner David Stern is elected into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, just two weeks after retiring from a successful 30-year reign.
The Hall of Fame Committee acknowledging Stern's contributions of, how the league has flourished and gained enormous global popularity during his three decades as chief.
"He deserves to be recognized in a huge way," said Jerry Colangelo, chairman of the hall of fame board, who made the announcement Friday as NBA All-Star Weekend tipped off in New Orleans.
Stern was elected by the contributors committee and will be inducted into the hall of fame in early August and enshrined with the Class of 2014 on August 8 in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Five new members were also directly elected to the Naismith Hall of Memorial Basketball Fame, including former Indiana Pacers' coach Bob Leonard, voted in from the American Basketball Association Committee; former New York Knicks Nat "Sweetwater" Clifton from the Early African American Pioneers Committee; Lithuania star Sarunas Marciulionis from the International Committee; and Temple University's Guy Rodgers from the Veterans Committee.
Former players chosen as finalists include seven-time NBA All-Star Alonzo Mourning, five-time NBA All-Star Tim Hardaway, six-time NBA All-Star Mitch Richmond, three-time NBA All-Star Kevin Johnson and four-time NBA All-Star Spencer Haywood.
The Class of 2014 will be announced April 7 during the NCAA men's Final Four Championships.