The Qatar Basketball Federation (QBF) received an invitation to the Federation of International Basketball’s 2017 Class of the FIBA Hall of Fame induction ceremony on 29 September in Mies, Switzerland. QBF President Ahmed Al Muftah and Secretary General Ali Al Malki accepted the request on behalf of the Federation and both are looking forward to ‘rubbing shoulders’ with former greats of basketball.
Speaking from QBF headquarters Al Muftah said they were thankful and honoured for FIBA’s invitation.
The Hall of Fame concept is to appreciate those – present and past – who help form and shape the world of basketball. FIBA’s Hall of Fame is virtuous in that it covers contribution and achievements by men and women – players, coaches, referees, contributors from all nations.’
Al Malki, for his part, said that getting inducted into the FIBA Hall of Fame is not easy. According to him, the criterion for selection is difficult and only those who make big sacrifices in their lives both on and off the court tend to make the list.
This year, USA’s Dream Team Shaquille O’Neal and Toni Kukoc headline a star-studded list of world class basketball personalities from seven different countries across three continents that make up the FIBA Hall of Fame’s 2017 Class of Inductees. The Dream Team was the US’ first-ever Olympic basketball team to feature active NBA players. It is widely regarded as the greatest team ever assembled as it consisted of legends such as Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Charles Barkley, Karl Malone as well as 2013 FIBA Hall of Fame Inductee David Robinson.
The Honours Committee of the FIBA Hall of Fame decides to reward the outstanding contributions of the team to international basketball on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of its remarkable appearance at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, where it won the gold medal.
O’Neal (USA) and Kukoc (Croatia) are among six former players being enshrined, alongside Mickey Berkowitz (Israel), Pero Cameron (New Zealand), Rajiza Mujanovic (Bosnia and Herzegovina) and Valdis Valters (Latvia). Joining them is coaching great Dusan Ivkovic (Serbia). They were selected from a list of more than 150 candidates. They will be inducted in FIBA’s Hall of Fame during a special ceremony at the House of Basketball – the headquarters of basketball’s world governing body on the outskirts of Geneva, Switzerland – on 30 September.
FIBA President Horacio Muratore said that the 2017 Class of the FIBA Hall of Fame distinguishes itself for the impressive amount of success these personalities have experienced on the court for their respective countries.
We congratulate them for all of their glorious moments and look forward to honoring them and welcoming them as the latest class of FIBA Hall of Fame inductees. We are especially pleased to enshrine the Dream Team 25 years after they stepped on the world stage and revolutionised basketball across the globe.’
Below is the full list of inductees that make up the 2017 Class of the FIBA Hall of Fame:
Dream Team (USA)
Pero Cameron (New Zealand)
Toni Kukoc (Croatia)
Razija Mujanovic (Bosnia and Herzegovina) Shaquille O’Neal (USA)
Valdis Valters (Latvia)
Mickey Berkowitz (Israel)
Dusan Ivkovic (Serbia)