HOUSTON (AP/WOOD) — Allen Iverson, Shaquille O’Neal, Tom Izzo, Sheryl Swoopes, Yao Ming and Jerry Reinsdorf have been inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame.
The announcement was made in Houston in advance of Monday night’s NCAA Tournament championship game between Villanova and North Carolina.
Izzo has been the men’s basketball coach at Michigan State University for 21 years. He won a national title in 2000, took the Spartans to the Final Four seven times, won seven Big Ten titles and has made 19 straight appearances in the NCAA Tournament.
After the announcement, Izzo talked about receiving the honor just weeks after MSU was upset in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
“From the lowest of lows to the highest of highs, a roller coaster of emotion is what I’ve felt the last couple of weeks. You know the team that beat us played well, but we’ll be back again, but there’s only one chance to get into the Hall of Fame. This is the greatest thing that’s ever happened to me in my lifetime,” said Izzo.
Izzo was among six people inducted into the Hall of Fame including former NBA stars Iverson, O-Neal and Yao Ming.
Iverson was an 11-time NBA All-Star who was named rookie of the year in 1996-97. The top overall pick in the 1992 draft, O’Neal was a 15-time All-Star who was the NBA MVP in 2000 and a three-time NBA Finals MVP.
Swoopes helped Texas Tech to a national title, won four titles with the Houston Comets, was a three-time WNBA MVP and won three Olympic gold medals.
Yao was the top overall pick in 2002 and was an eight-time NBA All-Star playing his entire career for the Houston Rockets. Reinsdorf has been the owner of the Chicago Bulls and White Sox for more than two decades.
The Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be held in September.