Thursday, September 05, 2013

Article on Guy V. Lewis on his Upcoming Hall of Fame Induction

With Coach Lewis going into the Hall of Fame in a few days, here's a nice article on the impact he had simply by treating people well. For background information on Lewis's election to the Hall, click here.

Monday, May 27, 2013

New York Times Article on Astrodome

The New York Times has an article on the Astrodome, whose future remains up in the air. The Astrodome, of course, hosted the Game of the Century, which the article alludes to. The Dome has not hosted big-time sports since 1999, when baseball's Astros moved to a new facility, and has not been used for anything at all since closing in 2008. Though many Houstonians would like to see the Astrodome refurbished and converted to some other use, leveling it to create more parking for the adjacent Reliant Stadium remains a possibility.

Monday, April 08, 2013

Guy V. Lewis (Finally!) Elected to Naismith Hall of Fame

One would think that leading a team to the men's college basketball Final Four on five occasions and making pioneering contributions to the sport would earn a coach a spot in the James A. Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. It now has for Houston's Guy V. Lewis, as announced today.

Why it took so long -- 27 years after Lewis had coached his last game and by which time he had turned 91 years old -- is anybody's guess. Fortunately, Lewis is still around to enjoy the experience. According to the above-linked Houston Chronicle article:

Lewis is also credited for being the architect of the "Game of the Century," between No. 1 UCLA, featuring Lew Alcindor, and No. 2 UH at the Astrodome in 1968. UH won 71-69, snapping UCLA's 47-game winning streak, in the first regular-season college basketball game televised nationally.

Lewis was among the first college basketball coaches to embrace racial integration in the South during the 1960s, signing Elvin Hayes and Don Chaney as the first African-American players in program history.

Lewis was inducted into the College Basketball Hall of Fame, part of Kansas City's College Basketball Experience, in 2007. However, the Naismith Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts, is older, more comprehensive (encompassing pro, college, and international play), and considered more prestigious than the College Hall of Fame (even though the latter clearly exhibited superior judgment in Lewis's case than the former).

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Kenny Heitz, a member of the 1968 UCLA squad and later an attorney, has died of cancer.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Congratulations to former University of Houston coach Guy V. Lewis and his wife Dena on their 70th wedding anniversary! The Houston Chronicle has a tribute article, for which I thank Ted Nance for bringing to my attention.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

An article appeared recently about how many in the college-basketball community continue to rally around the cause of getting former University of Houston coach Guy Lewis, now 90 years old, elected to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.

Lewis has been elected to the College Basketball Hall of Fame, which was established in 2006 in Kansas City. However, the Naismith Hall in Springfield, Massachusetts is much older, more encompassing (including pro and international, as well as college, hoops), and more prestigious.

Of relevance to this website, the article notes that:

Lewis was ... the visionary behind the groundbreaking "Game of the Century," persuading John Wooden to bring Lew Alcindor and top-ranked UCLA to play No. 2 Houston at the Astrodome in January 1968. The Cougars' 71-69 upset of the Bruins was the first nationally televised regular-season game and drew the largest crowd to witness an indoor basketball game (52,693), a record that stood for three decades.

Similar articles have appeared over the years, but this one had some information I hadn't been aware of. Foremost is the fact that Elvin Hayes, the UH center in the Game of the Century and later an NBA star, has refused to set foot in the Naismith Hall since his 1990 election.

Friday, April 01, 2011

Ted Nance e-mailed to notify me that Eddie Einhorn, the television producer of the Game of the Century (and later turned baseball owner and executive) has been elected to the College Basketball Hall of Fame. Ted notes further that, "I think he will be the seventh person with ties to the Game of the Century who will be a Hall member... Guy Lewis, John Wooden, Kareem, Elvin Hayes, Bob Pettit (TV color for the game), Einhorn and (I'm not sure about this one) Denny Crum."

As shown on the Hall's website, Crum indeed is a member (see the inaugural 2006 class). However, Crum's stint as a UCLA assistant apparently did not include the GOTC. The game program lists only Jerry Norman as a UCLA assistant and an article on the 40th anniversary of the 1967-68 UCLA squad that lists everybody down to the student managers does not mention Crum.

I would think that Dick Enberg, who did the television play-by-play for the Game of the Century and later went on to form a legendary NBC college-basketball broadcasting line-up with Al McGuire and Billy Packer, warrants induction as well. Now, maybe he'll be the seventh...