Former Storm star Lauren Jackson, a three-time WNBA MVP and seven-time WNBA All-Star, is included among nine first-time finalists for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

The other former players receiving HOF consideration for the first time include Chris Bosh, Paul Pierce, Yolanda Griffith and Michael Cooper.

Bill Russell, the first Black NBA head coach, headlines five first-time coaching finalists who include Rick Adelman, Jay Wright and Marianne Stanley.

The nine newcomers join previous finalists Tim Hardaway, Chris Webber, Ben Wallace, Marques Johnson and Leta Andrews.

The Class of 2021 will be announced May 16 and the enshrinement ceremony is scheduled for September 2021 in Springfield, Mass.

Jackson, who was taken No. 1 overall in the 2001 WNBA draft by the Storm, compiled a long list of achievements and accolades during her 12-year WNBA career, which was cut short by hip and leg injuries. 


The 6-foot-5 Australian center, who led Seattle to two WNBA titles, won a WNBA Finals MVP, a WNBA Defensive Player of the Year award and three scoring titles.

In Australia, Jackson was a three-time Olympic silver medalist with the national team.

Former Celtics great Russell, who was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a player in 1975, compiled a 341-290 (. 540) coaching record with Boston, Seattle and Sacramento.

Russell became the first Black head coach in the NBA in 1966 while still playing for Boston. In his second season as player-coach, he led the Celtics to the 1968 NBA championship.

During a four-year (1973-77) coaching stint with the Sonics, Seattle went 162-166 including two trips to the playoffs in 1975 and ’76.

The Class of 2020 enshrinement ceremony, a star-studded group highlighted by Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett, was rescheduled for May 13-15 and relocated to the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Conn.