The Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame announced last week the latest wave of inductees who will enter the exclusive club in 2024, with a trio of Minnesota Lynx players headlining that class.
Lynx legends Maya Moore, Seimone Augustus and Taj McWilliams-Franklin highlight a seven-member class who will enter the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in April of 2024. That trio is joined by player Rita Gail Easterling, official Violet Palmer, coach Sue Phillips and coach Roonie Scovel among the Class of 2024.
“Being inducted into the WBHOF is truly the highest honor to be placed upon a journey that I’ve been able to share with so many amazing people,” Augustus told Canis Hoopus. “Its divine timing allows me to share it once more with two people — Maya and Taj — who challenged me to be my best every day and in every way. I’m thankful for the time we have shared and the memories we created. What better way to finish our journey than the way we started — together.”
CONGRATULATIONS to the WBHOF Class of 2024 Hall of Famers. Join us April 27th in Knoxville, TN to celebrate this class, the “Trailblazers of the Game” @cheyneyuniv, and the “For The Love of the Game” award recipients (Afghan Athlete Resettlement Program). pic.twitter.com/sxT6UD5XYg— WBHOF (@WBHOF) December 1, 2023
All three of the Lynx players played integral roles during Minnesota’s dynasty era that resulted in four WNBA titles in 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2017. Moore and Augustus were on all four championship teams with the Lynx, while McWilliams-Franklin was part of the 2011 team to add to another WNBA title she won in 2008 with the Detroit Shock.
“I am elated that Maya, Seimone and Taj have been recognized by the WBHOF for their hall of fame careers,” Lynx head coach and president of basketball operations Cheryl Reeve said in a statement released by the team. “They each played an integral role in forming the championship identity of the Minnesota Lynx. ... On behalf of the organization, congratulations to all three of these legendary players. I cherish the time we had together in Minnesota.”
Moore and Augustus also spent time together with Team USA during a few Olympic runs, winning gold medals together in 2012 and 2016. Augustus was also on the USA team that won gold in 2008.
After being selected first overall by the Lynx in the 2011 WNBA Draft, Moore spent eight seasons in the WNBA before stepping away in 2018 to work on social justice issues. Over those eight seasons, Moore averaged 18.4 points, 5.9 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.7 steals over 271 games, earning six All-Star selections along with six All-WNBA First Team selections, one WNBA MVP award and being named to the W25 Team in 2021.
“Maya was not only a prolific scorer, but she also impacted the game defensively. I have many memories of Maya doing ‘Maya things’ to impact winning,” Reeve said in a statement. “She is unequivocally one of the greatest basketball players of all time.”
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The No. 1 pick in the 2006 draft, Augustus spent her first 14 seasons in Minnesota before concluding her career with Los Angeles in 2020. In her time with the Lynx, Augustus averaged 15.9 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.4 assists over 370 games while earning seven All-Star nods, six All-WNBA selections and was named the 2006 Rookie of the Year. Augustus remains the franchise leader in points (5,479) and games played, also sitting in the top 10 in the WNBA in scoring.
“Seimone is one of the greatest one-on-one players the game of basketball has ever seen,” Reeve said via the Lynx statement. “It was a thrill to watch Seimone give defenders fits with her patented crossover move and ‘Mone floaters’.”
After spending her first 12 seasons in the WNBA elsewhere, McWilliams-Franklin finished her career in Minnesota while playing the final two years of her 14-year career in a Lynx uniform. Over her time in Minnesota, McWilliams-Franklin averaged 8.3 points, 5.7 rebounds, 2.5 assists, one steal and one block over 67 games. In her career, she posted averages of 11.4 points, 6.8 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.3 steals and one block in 440 contests en route to earning six All-Star selections and three All-WNBA honors while ranking third on the WNBA’s all-time offensive rebound list behind fellow Lynx Rebekkah Brunson and Sylvia Fowles.
“Taj is one of the most intelligent players I have ever coached,” Reeve said in a statement. “Her attention to detail in the finer points of the game, her patented jumper and her rebounding made her a winner.”
Located in Knoxville, Tennessee, the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame will induct the Class of 2024 on April 27 at the Tennessee Theater. That ceremony will also include a recognition of Cheyney University as the “Trailblazer of the Game” recipient and the Afghan Resettlement Program as the “For the Love of the Game” award recipient.