The Women's Basketball Hall of Fame Board of Directors announced the induction of David Stern with the Class of 2021 on ABC during the WNBA game between Los Angeles and Phoenix. The Class of 2020 was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the individuals previously announced for that class have now become the Class of 2021. Stern will join those individuals as voted on by the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame Board of Directors. The members of the Class of 2021 are: Debbie Brock (Veteran Player), Carol Callan (Contributor), Swin Cash (Player), Tamika Catchings (Player), Sue Donohoe (Contributor), Lauren Jackson (International Player), David Stern (Posthumously, Contributor) and Carol Stiff (Contributor).
Stern was the National Basketball Association (NBA) commissioner from 1984 to 2014. He was the main driving force in launching the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) in 1997. He was a 2013 recipient of the W.E.B. Du Bois Medal, awarded by Harvard University in recognition of contributions to African and African-American culture. Stern has been inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame (2014), the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame (2014), and the International Basketball Hall of Fame (2016).
"David Stern's deeply held convictions a quarter century ago gave birth to the WNBA and paved the way for a new era in women's professional team sports in our country. He brilliantly married women's basketball with NBA capabilities, a sound business plan and a marketer's touch, and his vision produced a league that remains a beacon for women in the sports world,” stated Val Ackerman, BIG EAST Commissioner and Founding President of the WNBA. “Legions of players, coaches, executives, referees and fans owe David an enormous debt of gratitude for his relentless determination to elevate women's basketball to the major league status it deserves. His induction into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame could not be more richly deserved."
The 2021 Induction will mark the 22nd Class of Inductees to be honored by the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame, which held its grand opening and inaugural induction in 1999. The Class of 2021 will be inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame, receiving their coveted Eastman Trophy and Baron Championship Induction Ring, on June 12, 2021, in Knoxville, Tennessee. The Class of 2021 will be joined at the 2021 Induction Ceremony by the 1980 United States Olympic Women’s Basketball Team, who have been selected as the 2021 “Trailblazers of the Game” recipient for their contributions to the game of women’s basketball. For more information regarding the 2021 Induction Weekend please visit www.WBHOF.com.
The Women's Basketball Hall of Fame Board of Directors serves as the selection committee in determining which individuals will be inducted each year and which groups will be honored as "Trailblazers of the Game." Voting is based on minimum candidate requirements, which include record of performance, national or international recognition, and contributions to the game of women's basketball.