Beijing, April 1 (IANS) Chinese women’s basketball legend Zheng Haixia became the first Chinese player to be inducted into the FIBA Hall of Fame as world basketball’s governing body FIBA announced the Class of 2021 on Thursday.
Standing over two meters tall, Zheng claimed an Olympic silver medal in 1992 and was World Championship runner-up in 1994 with the Chinese team, reports Xinhua. She joined the Los Angeles Sparks and played in the WNBA in 1997.
Deceased “Dream Team” coach Chuck Daly is also among the 12 members of the FIBA Hall of Fame Class of 2021.
Daly guided team USA to the gold medal at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona. He also witnessed success as both a high school and college coach.
Also on the list is Panagiotis Giannakis, who achieved legendary status in his native Greece, spearheading his national team’s run to glory at FIBA EuroBasket 1987 as a point guard. He also led Greece to the final of FIBA EuroBasket 1989 and an Olympic debut in 1996, finishing his national team career with 351 caps.
Other inductees include Ettore Messina (Italy), Mathieu Faye (Senegal), Sergey Tarakanov (Russia), Detlef Schrempf (Germany), Oscar Moglia (Uruguay), Stanislav Kropilak (Slovakia), Penka Stoyanova (Bulgaria), Hana Horakova (Czech Republic) and Tom Maher (Australia).
The 12 inductees represent 12 countries across six continents, collectively capturing nine Olympic medals, six World Cup titles and 23 Continental Cup podium finishes.
The Class of 2021 marks the first time that players from China, Germany, Senegal and Slovakia are inducted into the FIBA Hall of Fame.
The new inductees will be enshrined into the FIBA Hall of Fame together with the Class of 2020, which was announced on Tuesday after being postponed for a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A digital ceremony will take place on June 18.
Created in 2007, the FIBA Hall of Fame features over 110 outstanding players and coaches from 37 countries and regions.