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NBA-Ginobili, Whalen headline 2022 Hall of Fame finalists

Randy Mancini 7 Feb 18
FILE PHOTO: NBA: Sacramento Kings at San Antonio Spurs
FILE PHOTO: Apr 9, 2018; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs shooting guard Manu Ginobili (20) reacts after a shot against the Sacramento Kings during the second half at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

February 19, 2022

(Reuters) – Four-time NBA champion Manu Ginobili and three-time WNBA champion Lindsay Whalen were among the six players named as finalists for entry into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Friday.

Ginobili spent all 16 years of his NBA career with the San Antonio Spurs where he was a two-time All-Star and won the Sixth Man of the Year award in 2008.

On the international stage, the Argentine guard helped deliver the first and only Olympic gold medal for his country at the 2004 Games and a bronze in 2008.

Ginobili is credited with helping to grow the NBA’s appeal overseas. The announcement comes ahead of this weekend’s All-Star Game in Cleveland, where a record-tying four international players have been named as starters.

Point guard Whalen is a five-time All-Star, two-time Olympic gold medalist and was recognized as one of the 20 best WNBA players of all time in 2016.

The other players named as finalists were five-time NBA champion Michael Cooper; five-time NBA All-Star Tim Hardaway; four-time WNBA All-Star and two-time Olympic gold medalist Swin Cash; and National Collegiate Player of the Year Marques Johnson.

Coaches George Karl, Bob Huggins, Leta Andrews and Marianne Stanley were also named as finalists for the Springfield, Massachusetts-based Hall of Fame.

Longtime NBA referee Hugh Evans rounded out the list of nominees, who will be considered by the Hall’s committees this year.

(Reporting by Rory Carroll in Los Angeles; Editing by Leslie Adler)