Lauren Jackson, Yolanda Griffith, Marianne Stanley announced as Naismith Hall of Fame finalists

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A trio of revered names in WNBA circles was announced as part of the 14 finalists for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2021.

The biggest name that will stick out for WNBA fans is Lauren Jackson, who won two championships with the Seattle Storm and is also well-respected in her native Australia for what she has accomplished. Yolanda Griffith and Marianne Stanley also was part of the list.

Jackson was a Top20@20 honoree in 2016 and her No. 15 was retired by the Storm. In addition to her two WNBA titles, she won four MVPs in the WNBL and in the WNBL Grand Finals. She had 12 All-Star appearances (seven in the WNBA, five in the WNBL). She won silver medals for Australia at the 2000, 2004 and 2008 Olympics plus a bronze medal in 2012. She is now the head of Basketball Australia’s Women in Basketball.

Griffith is lauded as one of the most proficient rebounders in history and was a second overall pick by the Sacramento Monarchs. She too made the W’s 20@20 list in 2016 and won a Finals MVP plus a championship in Sacramento. She made eight All-Star Games and her career included stints with the Storm and Indiana Fever. Currently Boston College’s women’s coach, she won gold medals in 2000 and 2004 with Team USA.

Stanley will enter her second season as coach of the Fever in 2021 and won a national championship at Old Dominion in 1985. At the college level, she made the Final Four on three occasions. Stanley became the WNBA’s Coach of the Year with the Washington Mystics and won a championship with the Mystics in 2019.

Another name that should draw the attention of WNBA fans among the finalists – “Showtime” Michael Cooper – formerly coach of the Los Angeles Sparks (where he won a championship in 2001) as well as with the Atlanta Dream.

Rick Adelman, Chris Bosh, Tim Hardaway, Bill Russell, Paul Pierce, Ben Wallace, Marques Johnson, Chris Webber and Jay Wright also are among the finalists. Leta Andrews, a longtime high school basketball coach, also was named a finalist via the Women’s Committee.

The announcement of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame finalists was made during an episode of ESPN’s The Jump with Rachel Nichols. The Class of 2021 announcement is prior to the enshrinement ceremony from May 14-16 at Mohegan Sun – the home of the Connecticut Sun.

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