Roger Brown Jr. vividly remembers walking into his father’s house in 1996 and being handed a letter.

It informed Brown Sr. that he was a candidate for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass.

“We thought he would get in that year,” Brown Jr. said Friday.

But Brown Sr. didn’t get the call that year. Or the year after. Not even 10 years after.

The call for the Brown Sr. -- who died in 1997 at age 54 -- came 17 years after the letter. The legendary Indiana Pacers player was elected to the Hall of Fame, it was announced Friday at a news conference during NBA All-Star weekend.

Roger Brown Jr. tried to hold back the tears, saying, “It’s long overdue. It’s vindication and it’s also overwhelming. I didn’t think I would react this way. We knew he would get in at some point, but it still hits you to the point where it’s unreal.”

Former Pacers Reggie Miller and Mel Daniels entered the Hall of Fame last year. Brown will be inducted Sept. 8.

“My father was a man of little words,” Brown’s daughter Gayle Brown Mayes said. “But he could light up a room with a million-dollar smile. That’s what he would be doing if he was still here today. Lighting the room up.”

Former Pacers Bob “Slick” Leonard, George McGinnis and Freddie Lewis were also candidates. The ABA “direct-elect” committee could select only one person.