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Shaq, Iverson, Yao among basketball Hall of Fame candidates

Brooklyn Nets v Sacramento Kings - NBA Global Games Beijing

BEIJING, CHINA - OCTOBER 15: Yao Ming (R) former NBA basketball star talk with Shaquille O’Neal during the 2014 NBA Global Games match between the Brooklyn Nets and Sacramento Kings at MasterCard Center on October 15, 2014 in Beijing, China. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) — Shaquille O’Neal, Allen Iverson and Yao Ming are among the first-time candidates on the ballot for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Michigan State coach Tom Izzo and former women’s star Sheryl Swoopes are also among the candidates announced Monday for the class of 2016. The finalists will be announced on Feb. 12 during the NBA’s All-Star weekend, and those being enshrined will be unveiled April 4 in Houston before the NCAA championship game.

O’Neal and Yao became eligible last week when the Hall amended its eligibility procedures, making players eligible after four full seasons of retirement. It was previously five years, which meant they were six years removed from their playing careers when they were enshrined.

The full list of candidates is available at www.hoophall.com