The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame held its induction ceremony on Saturday, enshrining 16 inductees, including Lauren Jackson, Yolanda Griffith, Val Ackerman and Pearl Moore.
Congratulations to Val Ackerman, @YGriffith3313 and @laurenej15 on officially being enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame #21HoopClass 🧡#CountIt pic.twitter.com/sk3KxrAeyK— WNBA (@WNBA) September 12, 2021
Congratulations to Val Ackerman, @YGriffith3313 and @laurenej15 on officially being enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame #21HoopClass 🧡#CountIt pic.twitter.com/sk3KxrAeyK
The current commissioner of the Big East, Ackerman was recognized for her work as the inaugural president of the WNBA, serving from 1996 to 2005. Ackerman said she is still moved and inspired by those who came before her to make sports a more inclusive place for women
“I’m inspired to this day by the example set by Billie Jean King,” Ackerman said, “and the many strong women and men who followed her in the quest to make the chance to play sports, and to do it on a big stage, a reality for girls and women in our country and our world.”
“I salute the trailblazers for being guiding lights and paving the way.”
Two WNBA icons were also recognized: three-time WNBA MVP Lauren Jackson and two-time Olympic gold medalist Yolanda Griffith.
#21HoopClass enshrinee, Yolanda Griffith. pic.twitter.com/EvPIb8d6KC— NBA (@NBA) September 12, 2021
#21HoopClass enshrinee, Yolanda Griffith. pic.twitter.com/EvPIb8d6KC
Jackson was first drafted to the WNBA in 2001 by the Seattle Storm as the No. 1 overall pick, winning two WNBA titles with the team, the first in 2004 and again in 2010. Griffith was selected No. 2 overall by the Sacramento Monarchs in 1999 and quickly became known throughout the league as a defensive powerhouse. The former WNBA MVP still holds the record for most offensive rebounds in a season, recording 162 boards in 2001. Jackson was unable to attend the ceremony due to COVID-19 restrictions in Australia.
#21HoopClass enshrinee, Lauren Jackson. pic.twitter.com/vn5anUdlYO— NBA (@NBA) September 12, 2021
#21HoopClass enshrinee, Lauren Jackson. pic.twitter.com/vn5anUdlYO
Moore, from the Women’s Veterans Committee, was also recognized for her prolific collegiate basketball career. Playing in the mid-1970s, Moore competed when there was no three-point line and when games weren’t televised. Still, according to FiveThirtyEight, Moore set a scoring record, notching 3,884 points during her time at Francis Marion College, putting up 60 points during a single game in 1978.
“Basketball made it possible for me to travel the country and overseas, to earn a college degree,” Moore said.
“And tonight, having my name enshrined with the likes of those sitting in the Hall is indeed a fairy tale come true.”