Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Gary Payton and Rick Pitino were among 12 finalists announced Friday for the 2013 class of the Basketball Hall of Fame.
Payton, a nine-time NBA All-Star, joined Tim Hardaway, Mitch Richmond, Tom Heinsohn, Sylvia Hatchell and Dawn Staley as first-time finalists.
Pitino, a six-time NCAA Final Four coach, is a finalist for the second year in a row. Maurice Cheeks, Spencer Haywood, Bernard King, Guy Lewis and Jerry Tarkanian are also returning to the ballot for election.
"We are proud to share an incredible group of finalists for the Class of 2013 -- a distinct list of coaches and players who excelled at many levels of basketball," said Jerry Colangelo, chairman of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Board of Governors. "It will be a difficult decision for the Honors Committee to select the final class members from this prestigious group of individuals, each of whom has given so much to the game."
The 2013 Hall of Fame class will be announced Monday, April 8 at a news conference prior to the NCAA Tournament men's national championship game in Atlanta.
A finalist needs 18 of 24 votes from the Honors Committee for election into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Induction ceremonies will take place Sunday, September 8 in Springfield, Mass.
Also announced Friday were five directly-elected members of the Class of 2013. They include Roger Brown, voted in from the American Basketball Association (ABA) Committee, Richie Guerin from the Veterans Committee, Oscar Schmidt from the International Committee, Russ Granik from the Contributors Direct Election Committee and Edwin B. Henderson from the Early African American Pioneers Committee.
This marks the third year of the direct elect process.