|Cristian Andal |||Sep 09, 2016 09:48 PM EDT|
(Photo : Getty Images) Former NBA basketball superstar Yao Ming of China was among this year’s Hall of Fame inductees that received an orange jacket in a recent gathering in Springfield, Massachusetts as a prelude to the 2016 Enshrinement Ceremony on Friday night.
Former NBA basketball superstar Yao Ming of China was among this year's Hall of Fame inductees that received an orange jacket in a recent gathering in Springfield, Massachusetts as a prelude to the 2016 Enshrinement Ceremony on Friday night.
Aside from the Chinese center, the 2016 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame class includes "27-year NBA referee Darell Garretson, 11-time NBA All-Star Allen Iverson, two-time NABC Coach of the Year Tom Izzo, the first African-American coach in a professional league John McLendon, three-time NBA Finals MVP Shaquille O'Neal, and four-time WNBA champion Sheryl Swoopes", as per Xinhuanet.
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The report noted that this class is the "most memorable to date" in the organization's history as it was the first time they awarded orange jackets to the inductees as well as "unique Hall of Fame rings for the first time on Friday's gala".
Other inductees include Chicago Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf, early African American pioneer Cumberland Posey, and ABA superstar Zelmo Beaty.
USA Basketball director Jerry Colangelo was also presented with an orange jacket during the ceremony.
"I've gone through the whole process of choosing the color. I thought of golf. I think we have specific color for sport. Orange fits perfectly for basketball," said Colangelo.
Meanwhile, Yao was the last inductee to receive a jacket and he was helped by fellow retired NBA cager O'Neal in wearing it.
"When walking in this Hall, for the first time, I feel I'm so small," Yao said, via Chron. "I don't know if Shaq agrees with that. I feel so small when I look to the rooftop (at) all the pictures around here. I see my picture up there. With all those pictures up there, I can't stop myself to think how small I am."
Yao was one of the tallest NBA players at 7-foot-6 while O'Neal stands 7-foot-1.
"I haven't had a chance to walk around yet, but I heard of this place for many years. Finally, when I reached here, it's (fulfilling)," Yao added.
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