Dwyane Wade’s emotional tribute to his father caps the star-studded Basketball Hall of Fame induction ceremony

The Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer Class of 2023 was officially inducted after a ceremony Saturday night filled with laughter, tears and immense gratitude. It’s one of the highest profile courses in recent memory, highlighted by Dwyane Wade, Dirk Nowitzki, Gregg Popovich, Tony Parker and Becky Hammon. All 11 individuals, as well as the entire 1976 women’s basketball team, can now call themselves Hall of Famers.

Before we get to a recap of the evening, here’s a full list of those inducted into the 2023 class:

  • Dwyane Wade
  • Dirk Nowitzki
  • Pow gasoline
  • Tony Parker
  • Becky Hammon
  • Gregg Popovich
  • Jim Vallano
  • 1976 USA women’s Olympic basketball team
  • David Hixon
  • Gary Blair
  • Gene Bess
  • Gene Keady

Each newcomer had their moment in the sun on Saturday night, so let’s quickly recap some highlights from each speech.

Dwyane Wade

Wade spoke about his humble roots in the Chicago area and took a moment to acknowledge everyone in the building who contributed to his success.

“My excitement about competing came from watching my dad and uncles compete,” Wade said.

He also spoke about how basketball lessons helped him get through life.

Dirk Nowitzki

Nowitzki thanked his family, as well as several former coaches and teammates, and joked with Steve Nash about her “brutal haircuts”. But perhaps best of all was his story about dunking Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.

Becky Hammon

Hammon thanked her Spurs family, many of whom were at the house on Saturday night to honor Parker and Popovich, and she had some poignant words about the importance of investing in women.

Gregg Popovich

Pop delivered a lengthy speech with plenty of memories and lingering feelings, but perhaps the most memorable moment was when he fooled everyone in the building by seemingly delivering a closing line, only to then return to the podium and insist that he hadn’t yet complete.

“I’ve waited a long time for this. I’m not done yet,” he said.

Pow gasoline

Known for his skill both in the NBA and on the international stage while playing for Spain, Gasol thanked the late Kobe Bryant for his influence and their friendship.

“I wouldn’t be here without you brother” Gasol said of Bryant. “I wish more than anything that you and Gigi were here with us today. I miss you and love you.”

Tony Parker

Another Spurs legend, Parker spoke at length about his relationship with the France national team and of course had to single out his coach and mentor Gregg Popovich.

Jim Vallano

Valvano has been one of the most inspirational coaches in the history of the sport, both on and off the field. He was inducted into office posthumously, 40 years after his North Carolina state wolfpack upset Houston and 30 years after his death, which led to the creation of the V Foundation for Cancer Research.

Gene Keady

The legendary Purdue coach had some inspirational words including: “I have lived a blessed life and am honored to receive this honor. Please remember to always do the right thing and play hard.”

1976 USA women’s Olympic basketball team

The team members talked about the impact their performance had on the further development of women’s football. Several current and former members of USA Basketball also offered congratulations and thanks in a video tribute.

David Hixon

Prolific Amherst coach David Hixon joked that compared to all NBA legends, people wouldn’t know who he was, but he delivered an inspirational speech that included the line: “My story is a 50-year, one-school, one-man love affair Sports.” ”

Gene Bess

Bess may not be a household name to NBA fans most successful coach in college basketball history and the first person ever to be inducted into the Hall of Fame after merely serving as a head coach at the junior college level.

“Thank you to every player I’ve ever coached,” said Bess. “I want you to know that I love you.”

Gary Blair

Blair, one of the most successful college basketball coaches in history, spoke about his humble beginnings in women’s soccer.

“I am convinced that God caused three young women to knock on my office door and ask me if I would be interested in coaching girls’ basketball at South Oak Cliff High School,” Blair said. “Here I am 50 years later in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.”

Below is a recap of our live updates from the event.

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