Wednesday, May 24, 2017
Early in 2015, Jerry Colangelo, Chairman of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame’s Board of Governors, announced the launch of the Basketball Hall of Fame’s “It’s Time to Step Forward” Capital Campaign to support the technological renovation of the museum and solidify the Hall’s endowment. Almost $25 million has been raised over the past two years, primarily from members of the national basketball community. Today, the MassMutual Foundation announces its pledge of $1 million dollars to the campaign, the largest gift thus far from a Massachusetts based entity as the Hall of Fame begins its appeal to include local organizations and individuals.
Located in the Birth City of Basketball, Springfield, Massachusetts, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame promotes and preserves the game of basketball at every level – professional, collegiate and high school, for both men and women on the global stage. The Hall of Fame’s iconic domed building opened in 2002, and serves as the game’s mecca hosting over 225,000 basketball enthusiasts in the museum and over 1 million in the Hall of Fame complex annually. However, the Basketball Hall of Fame’s reach extends far beyond the museum walls with college, high school and community basketball events as well as golf events spanning the country.
“It is our goal to honor those who have been inducted and preserve the game, while providing the best possible experience for those who visit the Basketball Hall of Fame,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame. “With the technological advancements available to us today, we feel it is important to also share the content of this historic museum on a global scale. The substantial contributions made by the MassMutual Foundation and other generous donors will allow us the financial freedom to attain these goals.”
“The MassMutual Foundation is proud to support the Basketball Hall of Fame in its efforts to revitalize the museum and honor the great game of basketball for generations to come,” said Dennis Duquette, Head of MassMutual Community Responsibility and President of the MassMutual Foundation. “The Hall of Fame’s transformation will enhance the vibrancy of our community by increasing visitation to the museum and surrounding businesses as well as showcase the game’s strong ties to the city of Springfield.”
Through the proposed technological renovation, the Hall of Fame hopes to engage the millions of basketball fans who cannot travel to Springfield through digital media access to the museum’s exhibits and inspirational stories. The museum itself will also receive several updates to its infrastructure over the next few years in partnership with Boston-based design firm Cambridge Seven Associates.
The Capital Campaign has been silently making headway over the last two years with generous backing from many in the global basketball community including Junior Bridgeman, Jerry Colangelo, Grant Hill, Mannie Jackson, Michael Jordan, Phil Knight, Nancy Lieberman, George Raveling, Adam Silver and Elaine Wynn as well as several NBA ownership groups. Notable coaches that have already stepped forward to support the cause include, Steve Alford, Geno Auriemma, Jim Boeheim, Larry Brown, Jim Calhoun, John Calipari, Rick Carlisle, Billy Donovan, Mike Krzyzewski, George Raveling, Bill Self, John Thompson, Roy Williams and others. Locally, initial significant support of the project has come from the Davis Foundation, Excel Dryer and Freedom Credit Union as well as board members Frank Colaccino and Jim Vinick.
Since the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame opened its doors in 1959, it has operated as a 501 c 3 not for profit organization relying on the generosity of others to preserve the legacy of the game. To learn more about the “It’s Time to Step Forward” Capital Campaign, visit www.hoophall.com.
About the MassMutual Foundation
The MassMutual Foundation strives to broaden economic opportunity for America's youth and their families by investing in financial education for middle and high school students across the United States and economic development and education locally in Springfield, Mass. The Foundation is a reflection of MassMutual’s longstanding dedication to corporate citizenship and its unwavering commitment to the communities in which we do business. To learn more about the MassMutual Foundation please visit www.massmutual.com/responsibility.
MassMutual is a leading mutual life insurance company that that is run for the benefit of its members and participating policyowners. MassMutual offers a wide range of financial products and services, including life insurance, disability income insurance, long term care insurance, annuities, retirement plans and other employee benefits. For more information, visit www.massmutual.com.
About the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame:
Located in Springfield, Massachusetts, the city where basketball was invented, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame promotes and preserves the game of basketball at every level – professional, collegiate and high school, for both men and women on the global stage.