Hill, Hudson among Hall of Fame candidates

Dec 26, 2017
Brant Sanderlin
The Atlanta Hawks ownership partner Grant Hill is a candidate for the Hall of Fame. AJC file photo

Grant Hill, currently the Vice Chair of the Hawks, is among the eligible candidates for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2018. Hawks great Lou Hudson also is a candidate. The Hall of Fame announced the eligible candidates last week, which include several others with connections to the Hawks.

Hill was a seven-time All-Star who played 19 years in the NBA with the Pistons, Magic, Suns and Clippers after a distinguished four-year collegiate career at Duke. He was the No. 3 overall pick on the Pistons in 1994. Hill is one of 45 candidates on the North American committee nominations that consists of players, coaches and referees. Hill was part of a group that purchased the Hawks in 2015.

Hudson is one of 55 candidates by the Veterans Committee. Hudson starred for the Hawks from 1966-77 and was a six-time All-Star. His No. 23 was retired by the Hawks.

Other eligible candidates with connections to the Hawks are:

Marty Blake: General manager of the Hawks from 1954-70 and longtime NBA Director of Scouting. 

Joe Caldwell: Played for the Hawks from 1965-70 and was two-time All-Star.

Maurice Cheeks: A Hawk in 1991-92 and four-time All-Star, fifth in NBA history in steals and 11th in assists.

Jack Coleman: Played for St. Louis Hawks from 1956-58 and was an NBA All-Star.

Leo Ferris: The founder of the Hawks franchise, who later helped invent the 24-second shot clock.

Cotton Fitzsimmons: Hawks head coach from 1972-76, and overall, won 832 NBA games and two Coach of the Year awards.

Robert Harrison: Played for Hawks from 1953-56, also played for Lakers and Nationals.

Toni Kukoc: Played 13 seasons in the NBA, including one-plus seasons in Atlanta from 2000-02 and was ’96 Sixth Man of the Year with the Bulls.

Sidney Moncrief: Spent 12 years in the NBA, with the Hawks in 1990-91, and was a five-time All-Star.

Willie Naulls: Played one season for St. Louis among 12 overall and was a four-time All-Star. 

Joe O’Toole: First Atlanta Hawks athletic trainer, and with the organization from 1968-97. He is the only non-player to win the NBA’s J. Walter Kennedy Award.

Frank Selvy: Played for the Hawks from 1954-58 and was a two-time All-Star.

Paul Seymour: Former head coach of St. Louis Hawks and three other teams and was also a three-time All-Star as a player.

Tom Van Arsdale: Played for the Hawks from 1974-76 as part of 12-year NBA career and was a three-time All-Star.

A news conference announcing the finalists from the North American and Women’s committee will be held during NBA All-Star weekend Feb. 17. The entire class, including those selected by the direct elect committees, will be unveiled during the NCAA Final Four in San Antonio. Enshrinement will take place in Springfield, Mass., Sept. 6-8.