MIES (Switzerland) — The FIBA Hall of Fame Class of 2023 has been confirmed with Yao Ming, Wlamir Marques, Penny Taylor and Carlos Loyzaga being just some of the stellar names who will be honored this year.
The inductees are to be enshrined at a prestigious ceremony in Manila, Philippines, ahead of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023, with a total of 10 players and two coaches being formally recognized for their incredible contributions to basketball.
The event will take place on the evening of August 23, after the conclusion of the FIBA Congress.
There are unlikely to be more popular entrants with fans than China’s Yao Ming and Brazil’s Wlamir Marques.
The former shined during his time with China, and more particularly at the 2006 FIBA Basketball World Cup where he finished top scorer.
He went down in history when he was selected as the first-ever international player to be picked number one overall in the NBA draft. He went on to become a worldwide face of the sport as an eight-time NBA All-Star.
Marques is revered not only in his homeland but far beyond because of his astonishing skills that graced so many major tournaments.
Considered as one of the best Brazilian ballers ever, he inspired his country to FIBA Basketball World Cup titles in 1959 and 1963 as well as two silver medals in 1954 and 1970.
His accolades also include two Olympic silver medals in 1960 and 1964.
The Philippines’ Loyzaga was a two-time Olympian, in 1952 (9th place) and 1956 (7th place), as a member of the Philippines men’s national basketball team.
Loyzaga helped the Philippines become one of the best in the world at the time, winning four consecutive Asian Games gold medals (1951, 1954, 1958, 1962) and two consecutive Asian Championships (1960, 1963).
His finest moment was at the 1954 World Championship where he led the Philippines to a bronze finish — the best finish by an Asian country in the tournament.
The Philippines has remained the only Asian medalist in the tournament.
Meanwhile, double Olympian and former FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup champion Penny Taylor takes center stage for the female entrants.
Her offensive talent and clutch ability led Australia to a historic and first-ever global gold in 2006 when she was crowned MVP.
An additional two silver Olympic medals and two bronze World Cup medals complete her impressive career.
With all eyes on the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023, which tips off two days after the induction ceremony, this year’s entrants will have their phenomenal efforts in the spotlight even more and there will be representatives from the three host nations of the Philippines, Indonesia and Japan.
Carlos Loyzaga is considered the best player the Philippines has ever produced and will be inducted posthumously.
He led the Philippines to the bronze medal in the 1954 World Cup and four gold medals at the Asian Games.
Indonesian scoring machine and 1967 Asia Cup MVP, Liem Tjien Siong/Sonny Hendrawan will also be inducted along with Yuko Oga, an extremely talented female guard who led Japan to seven international medals between 2001 and 2013.
The other inductees include Angelo Monteiro dos Santos Victoriano who lifted the AfroBasket trophy eight times with Angola, and Zurab Sakandelidze of Georgia who is being honored posthumously for his successful career winning more than ten international medals including a gold at the Olympic Games and at the World Cup.
In addition to Taylor and Oga, there are two other female players, two-time World Champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist Katrina McClain of the USA, as well as Women’s EuroBasket 2013 champion Amaya Valdemoro from Spain.
The two coaches being enshrined are Valerie Garnier of France, who took her country five times to second place at EuroBasket, and Alessandro Gamba, who led Italy to the second position at the 1980 Olympic Games and three EuroBasket medals including a gold in 1983.
Here is the full list of inductees that make up the 2023 Class of the FIBA Hall of Fame:
Amaya Valdemoro (Spain)
Yuko Oga (Japan)
Penny Taylor (Australia)
Katrina McClain (USA)
Wlamir Marques (Brazil)
Yao Ming (China)
Liem Tjien Siong / Sonny Hendrawan (Indonesia)
Angelo Monteiro dos Santos Victoriano (Angola)
Carlos Loyzaga (Philippines – posthumously)
Zurab Sakandelidze (Georgia – posthumously)
Valerie Garnier (France)
Alessandro Gamba (Italy)