Basketball: Steve Nash, Stanford coach VanDerveer lead 2020 FIBA HOF class


Posted at Mar 31 2021 02:24 PM

Basketball: Steve Nash, Stanford coach VanDerveer lead 2020 FIBA HOF class 1

NBA legend Steve Nash and Stanford University coach Tara VanDerveer are among the basketball figures headlining the Class of 2020 of the FIBA Hall of Fame.

The Class of 2020, which wasn't announced until now due to the COVID-19 pandemic, features 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 Canada'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.

VanDerveer, who won the 1996 Olympic gold as a coach, is one of three coaches to make it to the class along with Argentina's Ruben Magnano and Serbia's Svetislav Pesic.

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 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.

Ukraine's Alexander Volkov is also set to enter the Hall of Fame. One of his country's most celebrated sports figures, Volkov played for the Soviet Union team that won the 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-time 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).

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.

It also marks the first time that players from Canada, Hungary, Japan, Korea and Ukraine are inducted into the FIBA Hall of Fame.