Canadian Steve Nash, Svetislav Pesic of Serbia and Ukranian Alexander Volkov are three giant figures headlining the Class of 2020 for the FIBA Hall of Fame.
The Class of 2020, which wasn’t announced until now due to the coronavirus pandemic, has 12 basketball icons in all. They will be enshrined into the FIBA Hall of Fame during a digital ceremony on June 18, together with the Class of 2021.
Nash, one of his country’s most celebrated players, was a point guard at the FIBA Basketball World Cup 1994 in Toronto and captain of his national team at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. Also the MVP of the FIBA AmeriCup 1999 in Puerto Rico after leading Canada to a runners-up finish, Nash’s professional career spanned almost two decades in the NBA, where he was MVP in both 2005 and 2006.
Pesic, one of the finest coaches ever, entered the profession in 1982 and enjoyed huge successes with various clubs in Europe. As a national team coach, Pesic steered hosts Germany to the FIBA EuroBasket crown in 1993 and then led Yugoslavia to glory at both FIBA EuroBasket 2001 and the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2002.
Volkov, one of Ukraine’s most celebrated sports figures, played for the Soviet Union team that won FIBA EuroBasket 1985 in West Germany and then the 1988 Olympic gold medal in Seoul, Korea. Having enjoyed a stellar career in Europe, the big man played in the NBA from 1989 to 1992 with the Atlanta Hawks.
The star-studded 2020 FIBA Hall of Fame Class features Olympic gold medalist and two-time world champion Modestas Paulauskas (Lithuania); world champion, Olympic silver medalist and two-time FIBA EuroBasket winner Jure Zdovc (Slovenia); FIBA Basketball World Cup 1967 leading scorer and 236-time capped Mieczyslaw Lopatka (Poland); nine-time Japanese League champion Kenichi Sako (Japan); FIBA Women’s EuroBasket winner and 204-times capped Isabelle Fijalkowski (France); four-time FIBA Women’s EuroBasket bronze medalist Agnes Nemeth (Hungary); and FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup runner-up Park Shin-ja (Korea).
The 1996 Olympic gold-medal winning coach Tara VanDerveer (USA) and 2004 Olympic gold-medal winning coach Ruben Magnano (Argentina) are also in the 2020 FIBA Hall of Fame Class.
These 12 basketball legends that come from 12 different countries across four continents combined to win five Olympic gold medals and five World Cups. They accounted for six Olympic medals, 10 World Cup podium finishes, 20 Continental Cup medals, 70 national club competition crowns and 11 international club competition titles.
The Class of 2020 marks the first time that players from Canada, Hungary, Japan, Korea and Ukraine are inducted into the FIBA Hall of Fame.
The FIBA Hall of Fame Class of 2021 will be announced on Thursday, April 1.
Here is the full list of inductees that make up the 2020 Class of the FIBA Hall of Fame:
Isabelle Fijalkowski (France)
Mieczyslaw Lopatka (Poland)
Steve Nash (Canada)
Agnes Nemeth (Hungary)
Park Shin-ja (Korea)
Modestas Paulauskas (Lithuania)
Kenichi Sako (Japan)
Alexander Volkov (Ukraine)
Jure Zdovc (Slovenia)
Ruben Magnano (Argentina)
Svetislav Pesic (Serbia)
Tara VanDerveer (USA)