• John Doleva, president and CEO of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, gives a jersey to five-time NBA All-Star Reggie Miller, as he is announced as an inductee at a news conference in New Orleans on Monday.

  • After retirement, Reggie Miller, left, began a broadcasting career. Here he playfully grabs Gonzaga’s Robert Sacre prior to a NCAA tournament game earlier this year.

  • Pacers basketball player Reggie Miller waves to the crowd during his No. 31 jersey retirement ceremony in Indianapolis March 30, 2006.

  • Reggie Miller spent his entire career as a an Indiana Pacer.

  • Miller, left, responds to a question while his sister, Cheryl Miller, listens during a news conference in Indianapolis, when his uniform was retired. The Millers are the only brother-sister combination to be inducted into the Naisimth Basketball Hall of Fame.

  • During his NBA career, Reggie Smith always had time for the late-night television circuit. Here he talks with David Letterman in 2005.

  • Reggie Miller’s Pacers made several NBA postseason appearances, but they were never able to win the title.

  • Reggie Miller celebrates his game-winning shot in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals in Indianapolis, Monday, May 25, 1998.The Pacers beat the Bulls 96-94.

  • Reggie Miller as a junior at Riverside Poly High School in 1981.

NEW ORLEANS – Reggie Miller rode his sister’s coat-tails all the way to the Hall of Fame.

The five-time All-Star joined longtime NBA coach Don Nelson and college standout Ralph Sampson on Monday as part of a 12-member class that will be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in September. Miller’s sister, Cheryl, was enshrined in 1995.

Miller was at home when he received the call a couple days ago that he had gained entrance to the exclusive club. He quickly called his sister, one of the pioneers of the women’s game.

“I can still hear her screaming in my ear,” Miller said with a smile.

Miller often recalls the story about how his sister would beat him in games of one-on-one growing up. It wasn’t until he’d grown to 6-foot-7 and could block Cheryl’s shot that they finally quit playing those driveway pick-up games.

“She was a role model. She is a role model. She set the bar high for the family,” Miller said, “and I’m just glad I’m on her coat-tails, dragging me along to the Hall of Fame.”

Cheryl was inducted in 1995. They will be the first brother-sister combination in the Hall of Fame.

“This is a happy and historic day, not only for the Miller family but for history,” said Saul Miller, the family’s patriarch, by phone Monday afternoon. “They called him (Sunday) and then he called me. He was very excited. This is an honor he always wanted, and that day finally has come.”

Miller was an all-Ivy League and all-CIF player during his years at Riverside Poly. He was a leading scorer for the Bears, and his average would have been higher but the 3-point line had not yet been implemented into the high school game. As a senior, Miller was selected the Riverside County Co-Player of the Year, sharing the award in 1983 with teammate Dave Myers.

“It’s a great honor and extremely well-deserved,” said Arlo Gard, Reggie’s coach at Riverside Poly, by phone Monday. “What I remember most about Reggie was that he improved each and every season.”

He helped Riverside Poly win the CIF-Southern Section Division 3A championship in 1983, though the title was later forfeited because of the use of an ineligible player.

After a standout career at UCLA, he became one of the best perimeter shooters in the history of the game. He was part of the 1996 gold medal-winning Olympic team and played more games with one franchise than any player except John Stockton and Karl Malone.

He also caused untold fits for the New York Knicks, for years the biggest rival of his Pacers.

The night at Madison Square Garden that Miller scored an improbable eight points in 8.9 seconds, almost single-handedly winning Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals, is chronicled in the Peabody Award-winning documentary, “Winning Time: Reggie Miller vs. the New York Knicks.”

“To be a part of this exclusive club is pretty special,” Miller said.

The club in Springfield, Mass., now includes two-time Olympic gold medalist Katrina McClain, four-time NBA champion Jamaal Wilkes, longtime college referee Hank Nichols and the All-American Red Heads — the female version of the Harlem Globetrotters.

The newcomers were joined by five members of the class who already had been announced: Nike co-founder Phil Knight, ABA star Mel Daniels, seven-time NBA All-Star Chet Walker, Olympian Don Barksdale and Lydija Alexeeva, who led the Soviet Union to two Olympic gold medals.

The class will be inducted during a ceremony scheduled for Sept. 7.

“I was sitting on my back porch, smoking a cigar, when I got the call,” said Nelson, a five-time NBA champion as a player and the winningest coach in league history.

“It was a great moment for me. I’m the luckiest man in the world,” Nelson said. “I’ve been involved with the game of basketball for over 60 years, and I’ve never had a bad day, even when we lost games. They’ve all been great days.”

The 7-foot-4 Sampson was one of the most dominant college players in history, a three-time national player of the year who led Virginia to the Final Four. He was the first overall pick in the NBA draft and a four-time All-Star before injuries finally slowed his career.

McClain was dealing with her kids at home when she learned she had been inducted in the Hall of Fame. The two-time All-American at Georgia helped the United States win Olympic gold in 1988 and 1996, and the bronze medal in 1992, blazing a trail for future WNBA stars.

The son of a Baptist minister, Wilkes was a two-time NCAA champion with UCLA and a three-time NBA All-Star. His jumper was so smooth that announcer Chick Hearn called it a “20-foot layup.”

Nichols refereed 10 Final Fours and six national championship games before coordinating officials for the NCAA, while the All-American Red Heads entertained millions of fans over the course of six decades, breaking untold social barriers along the way.

“It’s a very special time for people who have been involved in the game for a long time to be in the presence of those who have already been in inducted into the Hall of Fame,” Hall of Fame chairman Jerry Colangelo said.

Louisville coach Rick Pitino, whose team was ousted by Kentucky in the Final Four on Saturday night, was among the finalists who were passed over by the committee.

Also missing out were four-time All-Star Maurice Cheeks, former Celtics and Rockets coach Bill Fitch, four-time All-Star Bernard King and longtime college and NBA coach Dick Motta.

Staff writer Eric-Paul Johnson contributed to this Associated Press story.

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