Mutombo headlines Hall of Fame's Class of 2015

Mon Apr 6, 2015 12:33pm EDT
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(Reuters) - Dikembe Mutombo, an eight-times NBA All-Star who was famous for swatting away opponents' shots and wagging his finger at them, was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Monday.

Mutombo, a shot-blocking Congolese center whose legendary finger-wagging motion became one of the most recognized gestures in the game, was a four-times NBA Defensive Player of the Year and led the league in blocked shots for five straight seasons.

Mutombo played in the NBA from 1991 until 2009, recording 11,729 points, 12,359 rebounds, and 3,289 blocks during 18 seasons spent mostly with Denver, Atlanta and Houston.

Three-times College Coach of the Year John Calipari, longtime NBA referee Dick Bavetta, four-times NBA All-Star Spencer Haywood, seven-times NBA All-Star Jo Jo White and three-times WNBA most valuable player Lisa Leslie were also among the 11 members named to the Class of 2015.

They joined the five directly elected members who were announced earlier this year.

The Class of 2015 will be enshrined at the Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts on Sept. 11.

(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto, editing by Ed Osmond)

Feb 16, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; NBA legend Dikembe Mutombo laughs during the 2014 NBA All-Star Game Legends Brunch at Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports