The International Basketball Federation or FIBA formally inaugurated its Hall of Fame on March 1, 2007 to celebrate the 75th anniversary of its birth.

The primary goal of the FIBA Hall of Fame is to reflect the history of the sport and its personalities.

Induction to the Hall is done annually.

There are four categories for election to the FIBA Hall of Fame ? players (they must be retired from international competitions for at least five years ? the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame previously also followed the same policy but it changed it to a four-year wait starting this year), coaches, technical officials (referees and commissioners) and contributors.

The key criterion for selection is outstanding achievement at the international level and contribution to the development of basketball.

Last August, eight world-known personages from seven different countries were inducted into the FIBA Hall of Fame during a ceremony at FIBA?s House of Basketball in Mies, Switzerland.

Heading the latest inductees selected from a list of more than 150 candidates was David Joel Stern, who was the commissioner of the U.S. National Basketball Association (NBA) for three decades from 1984-2014 (since succeeded by current czar Adam Silver).

Joining Stern on the contributors? category was the late Juan Antonio Samaranch, who served as the president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) from 1980-2001.

Five former players from five different countries made the Hall, too. On top of the elite pack was Hakeem Olajuwon, the Nigerian-American who saw action with Houston (1984-2001) and Toronto (2001-02) in 18 NBA seasons from 1984-2002 and earned championship rings with the Rockets in 1994 and 1995 when he was voted the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player.

The other personalities that got into the Hall in the players? category were national team icons Michele Timms of Australia (she also played for the Phoenix Mercury in the Women?s National Basketball Association), Spain?s Juan Antonio San Epifanio, Greece?s Panagiotis Fasoulas and Mexico?s Manuel Raga.

Completing the 2016 Class of the FIBA Hall of Fame was legendary coach Jorge Canavesi of Argentina.

In 2015, nine personages from seven different countries were inducted into the FIBA Hall of Fame during a ceremony held in the ballroom of the Hotel Casino Barriere in Lille, France.

The six former players who made it were Michael Jordan, the current Charlotte Hornets team owner who gained a gold medal during the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles (as an amateur) and 1992 Olympiad in Barcelona (as part of the original U.S. Dream Team that was composed of 11 NBA players and one incoming pro rookie) and snared NBA titles with the Chicago Bulls from 1991-93 and from 1996-9; Anne Donovan (USA); Ruperto Herrera Tabio (Cuba); Sarunas Marciulionis (Lithuania), who played seven NBA seasons from 1989-97 with the Golden State Warriors, Seattle SuperSonics (the harbinger of the Oklahoma City Thunder), Sacramento Kings and Denver Nuggets); Antoine Rigaudeau (France); Vladimir Tkachenko (Russia/Ukraine).

Other Hall of Fame inductees that year were Australia?s Jan Stirling as a coach, France?s Robert Blanchard as a technical official, and Israel?s Noah Klieger as a contributor.