The Atlanta Hawks new principal owner Tony Ressler and partner Grant Hill, pictured, met with Atlanta Journal Constitution editors, managers and reporters Thursday June 25, 2015. BRANT SANDERLIN/BSANDERLIN@AJC.COM
Photo: Brant Sanderlin
Photo: Brant Sanderlin

Hill, Driesell among Basketball Hall of Fame finalists

Grant Hill, the Vice Chair of the Board of the Atlanta Hawks, is a finalist for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Hill is a first-time finalist after a 19-year NBA career and two national championships at Duke. He is one of 12 finalists who will be considered for the Class of 2018, including eight players, three coaches and one referee.

The list of finalists from the North American Screening Committee are players Hill, Ray Allen, Maurice Cheeks, Jason Kidd, Steve Nash and Chris Webber; coaches Charles ‘Lefty’ Driesell and Rudy Tomjanovich; and referee Hugh Evans. The four finalists from the Women’s Screening Committee are players Katie Smith and Tina Thompson, coach Kim Mulkey, and Wayland Baptist University as a team.

The Class of 2018 will be announced on March 31 prior to the NCAA Men’s Final Four in San Antonio.

Hill was a seven-time NBA All-Star (1995-98, 2000-01 and 2005). He was the 1995 Co-Rookie of the Year. He was All-NBA First Team in 1997 and Second Team four times in 1996 and 1998-2000.

In a four-year career at Duke, Hill was part of the back-to-back national championship teams of 1991 and 1992.

Hill won a gold medal for the United States in the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. He is a three-time recipient of the NBA’s Sportsmanship Award and the 2012 recipient of the Basketball Hall of Fame’s Mannie Jackson Human Spirit Award for his philanthropic efforts.

Hill is part of the ownership group that purchased the Hawks in 2015.

Driesell coached 40-1/2 seasons in Division I, including his final 5-1/2 seasons until he retired midway through the 2002-03 season. Driesell had a 103-59 record and Georgia State and led the Panthers to four A-Sun regular-season championships and an NCAA Tournament berth in 2001. He also coached at Davidson, Maryland and James Madison and is the only coach to lead four Division I schools to at least 100 wins.