Pick Pitino, Bernard King and Gary Payton headlined a class of 12 members selected for induction into The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2013.
The new members will be inducted in September.
The class also includes ABA standout Roger Brown, former University of Houston coach Guy Lewis, African American pioneer E.B. Henderson, Brazilian star Oscar Schmidt, Knicks standout Richard Guerin, NBA executive Russ Granik, former North Carolina women's coach Sylvia Mitchell, three-time Olympic gold winner and WNBA All-Star Dawn Staley and former UNLV coach Jerry Tarkanian.
King, a four-time NBA All-Star, averaged 22.5 points per game during his 15-year NBA career, which began with the New Jersey Nets and included stints with the Utah Jazz, Golden State Warriors, New York Knicks and Washington Bullets before his finale season back with the Nets in 1993. He had been nominated for the Hall of Fame six times.
"This is a richly deserved honor for Bernard, and we couldn't be happier for him," said Alvin Attles, who coached King during his time with Golden State. "He was such a fierce competitor who always gave 100 percent effort, every single night. I vividly remember how he would fly down the court on the fast break and opposing players would get out of his way. It was truly a sight to behold."
Pitino, who is coaching Louisville in Monday night's NCAA national championship game in Atlanta, is the only coach in men's history to lead three different schools to the Final Four with Providence, Kentucky and Louisville. He won a championship with Kentucky in 1996 and reached the Final Four seven times.
"Your mind races with so many people who (were) a part of this," Pitino said Monday.
Lewis led the University of Houston to five NCAA Final Four appearances and nearly 600 wins during his 30 years as head coach. He was named National Coach of the Year in 1968 and 1983.
Payton, considered one of the best defensive guards in NBA history, played on a Seattle Supersonics team that reached the NBA Finals in 1996 and finally won his first NBA title while playing for the Miami Heat in 2006 - his 16th season in the league.
"It's an honor to be elected to the Hall of Fame. It shows people respected my game," said Payton.
Tarkanian coached 990 wins combined at UNLV, Fresno State and Long Beach State. He led UNLV to four NCAA Final Four appearances, including the 1990 NCAA Championship.