Shaq, Iverson, Ming headline ‘extraordinary’ Hall class

The 2016 class of inductees into the Basketball Hall of Fame, from the left, Ann Beaty, accepting on behalf of her late husband Zelmo Beaty, Ron Garretson, accepting on behalf of his father the late Darell Garretson, Tom Izzo, Maurice Banks, accepting on behalf of his late grandfather John McLendon, Shaquille O'Neal, Nancy Boxill, accepting on behalf of her late grandfather Cumberland Posey, Jerry Reinsdorf, Sheryl Swoopes, Yao Ming, and past inductee Jerry Colangelo pose for a group photo at the end of a news conference at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, Thursday, Sept. 8, 2016, in Springfield, Mass. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

AP Photo

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) — The Class of 2016 at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame may be one of its best ever.

Shaquille O’Neal, Allen Iverson and Yao Ming headline the class that will officially be enshrined Friday night.

Joining them in the 10-member class will be longtime Michigan State coach Tom Izzo, WNBA star Sheryl Swoopes, NAIA coaching legend John McClendon (posthumous), former referee Darrell Garretson (posthumous), executive Jerry Reinsdorf, ABA star Zelmo Beaty (posthumous) and early African-American pioneer Cumberland Posey (posthumous).

O’Neal, one of the most dominant big men to play the game, says it’s appropriate that he and Iverson, one of the sport’s best smaller players, will be inducted together as game changers.

Hall chairman Jerry Colangelo, a 2004 inductee, says it might be one of the top five classes he has seen.

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