Former Iowa basketball star Don Nelson is part of a 12-member class that will be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Sept. 7, it was announced Monday in New Orleans, the site of the Final Four.
Nelson, the all-time winningest coach in NBA history, left Iowa after the 1962 season as the school’s all-time leading scorer (1,522 points). Nowadays, he ranks No. 11 on the Iowa career scoring charts.
Nelson went on to collect 1,335 NBA victories in his 31 seasons on the NBA sidelines, winning NBA Coach of the Year three times. The former Hawkeye also won a remarkable five NBA titles as a player.
Nelson’s Hall of Fame class includes five-time All-Star Reggie Miller, two-time Olympic gold medalist Katrina McClain, three-time college player of the year Ralph Sampson, the father of Minnesota’s Ralph Sampson, and four-time NBA champion Jamaal Wilkes, among others.
Others joining Nelson: Referee Hank Nichols, the All-American Red Heads — the female version of the Harlem Globetrotters, Nike co-founder Phil Knight, ABA star Mel Daniels, seven-time NBA All-Star Chet Walker, Olympian Don Barksdale, and Lydija Alexeeva, who led the Soviet Union to two Olympic gold medals.