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Eight-time NBA All-Star Dikembe Mutombo and Kentucky men’s basketball coach John Calipari are among six famous basketball names inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.
NBC Sports reported that Mutombo and Calipari join Jo Jo White, Spencer Haywood, Dick Bavetta and Lisa Leslie in the six-person Hall of Fame Class of 2015.
Mutumbo was one of the best Centers in NBA history, winning NBA Defensive Player of the Year four times – tied with Ben Wallace for most in NBA history – as well as eight NBA All-Star games and multiple All-NBA teams. He led the NBA in rebounds, rebounding average, offensive rebounds, defensive rebounds, block shots average and blocked shots on multiple occasions and is 2nd in NBA history in recorded blocks.
Calipari is a three-time winner of the Naismith College Coach of the Year award and has a career coaching record in college of 593-174 (.774). As coach of the Kentucky Wildcats he led the team to three SEC conference titles and an NCAA Championship win in 2012. He has 15 conference championships from stints with UMass, Memphis and Kentucky combined.
White was a two-time NBA Champion Point Guard with the Boston Celtics and a seven-time All-Star. He was the MVP of the 1976 NBA Finals and won a Gold Medal for the United States in the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City.
Haywood was a four-time NBA All-Star and an NBA Champion with the Los Angeles Lakers in 1980. He was also a star in the ABA as a rookie, winning Rookie of the Year, MVP and ABA All-Star Game MVP honors in 1969. He was on the 1968 Olympic team along with Jo Jo White.
Bavetta was a popular and well-respected NBA referee from the 1960s until 2014. He holds the record for most games ever officiated by an NBA referee.
Leslie was a four-time Olympic Gold medalist for the United States Women’s Basketball team – capturing medals in Atlanta (’96), Sydney (’00), Athens (’04) and Beijing (’08). Leslie was a three-time WNBA MVP and two-time WNBA Champion with the Los Angeles Sparks. She was an eight-time WNBA All-Star and 12-time All-WNBA player. The 6’5″ Leslie also holds the distinction of being the first WNBA player to ever dunk the ball.