Griffith and Jackson named finalists for Basketball Hall of Fame

Two of the game’s greatest forward/centers, Yolanda Griffith and Lauren Jackson, were announced as finalists for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Tuesday.

Yolanda Griffith

Griffith was drafted No. 2 overall to the Sacramento Monarchs in 1999. She played in the league for 11 seasons and was one of the best players ever to step on the court. In her first season Griffith won the MVP, WNBA Newcomer of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year awards. She averaged 20 points and 12.1 rebounds per game.

In 2001 Griffith set the season record for most offensive rebounds, with 162. In 2005 she led the Monarchs to the WNBA title and won Finals MVP. She went on to finish her career with the Seattle Storm and the Indiana Fever. Griffith was an eight-time All-Star and a member of the WNBA 20@20 team.

Lauren Jackson

Jackson arrived in Seattle in 2001 as a young-faced 19-year-old who was already an Olympic star in her native Australia. As the Storm’s No. 1 draft pick that year, she lived up to her potential, and then some. She guided the team to two Championships and was named league MVP three times. Jackson was a WNBA All-Star seven times and won Defensive Player of the Year in 2007.

As a multi-skilled player, Jackson was a front-runner to today’s “position-less” basketball: she could core in the post, take opponents off the dribble and shoot the three – all while making it look easy. She averaged 18.9 points and 7.7 rebounds per game for her career while shooting 46 percent from the field and 35 percent from beyond the arc. She also a member of the WNBA 20@20 team.