Barkley Elected to Basketball Hall of Fame

Charles Barkley is one of the greatest all-around players to ever play the game of basketball. In NBA history he ranks 15th in rebounds, 15th in field goal percentage, 16th in points, 17th in steals and 22nd in minutes played.

Indianapolis, Ind.--Charles Barkley, who played at Auburn from 1982-1984, has been elected into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

During his career at Auburn, ‘Sir Charles' was a three-time All-SEC selection. In his junior season he was a second team All-American, AP and UPI SEC Player of the Year and the SEC Tournament Most Valuable Player.

"Auburn gave me an opportunity to be successful," Barkley says. "I will appreciate that always."

Charles Barkley is shown during the 1993 playoffs with Michael Jordan (right) of the Chicago Bulls.

Barkley's was chosen to the All-Century team at Auburn as well as having his No. 34 jersey retired in 2001. He was selected as the fifth pick in the 1984 NBA draft by the Philadelphia 76ers where he played for eight seasons before moving on to the Phoenix Suns and Houston Rockets, where he played four seasons apiece.

"This is the ultimate," Barkley says of his election into the hall of fame. "It is just cool for all of my family and friends. I get a chance to thank them for helping me get there. The first thing I did was write the guys I played with in high school and called and told them thanks for getting me inspired.

Hall of Fame inductees include (left to right) Dominique Wilkins, Dave Gavitt, Joe Dumars, Barkley and Geno Auriemma.

"I want to thank my college coach (Sonny Smith) and my teammates and in the NBA, I would like to thank Moses Malone and Dr. J. (Julius Erving) because they were great," he adds. "The two guys who taught me the most about basketball, playing, were Adrian Dantley and John Drew. They taught me how to play against bigger guys because when you are 6-foot-5, 6-foot-6, you can't post big guys up."

At a generous listing of 6-6, Barkley is one of only four players in NBA history to score 20,000 points, pull down 10,000 boards and dish out 4,000 assists, joining Kareem-Abdul Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain and Karl Malone.

In his 16-year NBA career, Barkley averaged 22.1 points, 11.7 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game. He is an 11-time All-Star, two-time Olympic gold medallist and 1993 NBA MVP.

Barkley, a native of Leeds, Ala., is the first person from the state of Alabama to be elected into the basketball HOF. Joining him in this year's induction class are Dominique Wilkins, Joe Dumars, Geno Auriemma, David Gavitt and Sandro Gamba.

The Class of 2006 Enshrinement Weekend ceremonies will be Sept. 7-9 in Springfield, Mass., home of the HOF.

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