SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Friday the class of 2015 was inducted into the basketball hall of fame in the city where the game was born.
The 11-member Class of 2015 was enshrined into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame Friday night. Notable members Lisa Leslie, Dikembe Mutombo, and former UMass coach John Calipari, who lead the Minutemen to 5 Atlantic 10 championships and an appearance in the final 4.
22News was there when the class of 2015 was honored Thursday at the Basketball Hall of Fame, beginning the enshrinement weekend celebration.
UMass coach John Calipari talked about how he wanted to generate hope among the team when he first became coach at 29 years-old, “When I walked in at UMass, I talked about hope and I talked about dreams, and I talked about a vision after a 10-18 season and maybe getting fired.”
Each member of the class of 2015 was asked to bring a former inductee to present them to the rest of their peers. There are 50 Hall of Famers attending the event, including those presenters. Fans crowded Hall of Fame avenue outside Symphony Hall to get a glimpse of the legendary athletes.
“I’m here to support Cal. Being a UMass graduate, I think it’s fantastic. He has helped the school terribly much. He has brought more and more education to the school, more and more sports events to the school,” said Lawrence Kubera of Longmeadow.
“I’ve been here before and I’ve enjoyed it immensely. The festivities! Just to see the players! I’m not a basketball fan, but I’m a fan at this time of the year,” said Phyllis Goodman of Springfield.
The 57th class was voted in by a secret 25-member pannel. Their careers now have permanent places of honor in the birthplace of Basketball.
At 10:00 Saturday morning, there will be an autograph session at the Hall of Fame.