The Naismith Hall of Fame is unique because it includes international professionals and both U.S. and international amateurs. The Hall has four separate screening committees for American candidates, female candidates, international candidates, and veteran candidates. Veteran candidates have been retired at least 35 years before being nominated.
To be eligible for the Hall of Fame, players must be retired for at least five years. Referees must either be retired for five years or have at least 25 years as a referee at the high school, college, amateur, or professional level. No specific criteria exist for contributor inductees, but the person must have made a “significant contribution” to the game of basketball, and has included several famous broadcasters and sports writers. Contributors who have been inducted into the hall of fame include broadcasters like Dick Vitale, who has been an analyst with ESPN for more than 30 years.
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An Honors Committee of 12 permanent members and a rotating 12-member committee made up of specialists vote on candidates. Anyone who receives 18 votes, or 75 percent, from the Honors Committee is approved for enshrinement in the Hall of Fame. The committee can decide not to consider a potential nominee who has damaged the integrity of basketball.
The Naismith Hall also decides and presents several awards to collegiate players each year. The Bob Cousy Award has been presented since 2004 to the top point guard selected from Divisions I, II, and III. The Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award is presented to the female player less than 68 inches in height and male player less than 72 inches in height determined to have been that year's top student athlete. The men's award is voted on by the National Association of Basketball Coaches; the women's award is voted on by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association.