Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Rick Reilly Writes Column on Coach Wooden at 98

Rick Reilly has a nice column on John Wooden, coinciding with the latter's 98th birthday earlier this month.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Elvin Hayes Interview on GOTC

Over at the UH athletics website, I found this online video of Elvin Hayes being interviewed about the Game of the Century. I don't know exactly when the interview was conducted, but it seemed fairly recent.

Monday, March 17, 2008

E-Mail from Tom Gribben

Probably the most interesting and enjoyable aspect of operating this website is when someone who played in the Game of the Century, or was associated with it in some other manner, contacts me.

Former UH player Vern Lewis e-mailed me in February 2007, whereas the school's longtime Sports Information Director Ted Nance did the same roughly a year earlier.

Yesterday, I heard from Tom Gribben, a sophomore 6-2 guard-forward swingman for the Cougars in 1968 (click here for GOTC box score and here for the Cougars' 1967-68 overall statistics). Tom shared some recollections on the classic game and how its legacy has endured. He added, on a humorous note, that:

I tell people all the time I scored the winning two points, they just happened to be in the first half.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Alcindor (Abdul-Jabbar) and Hayes in ESPN's Top 25 All-Time College Hoops Players

In recent weeks, ESPN had been unveiling its list of the 25 greatest college basketball players of all time, revealing one player each night, starting from No. 25. Each of the two towering figures (literally and figuratively) in the UCLA-Houston Game of the Century made the list. The Bruins' Lew Alcindor (later Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) was named the No. 1 college basketball player of all time, whereas the Cougars' Elvin Hayes came in at No. 14. A brief video synopsis of each player's college career is available at the above-linked website. Hayes's video is comprised entirely of footage from the GOTC; a clip from the same game appears in Alcindor's.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

40th Anniversary of Game of the Century

The day is here! Today, January 20, 2008, is the 40th anniversary of the Game of the Century. As I've expressed in previous postings, I'm very upset that no anniversary game between UCLA and Houston will be taking place today.

The best substitute activity that I can recommend to mark the occasion, for those of you who own a copy of Eddie Einhorn's book, How March Became Madness, is to watch the DVD of the 1968 Bruin-Cougar Astrodome classic that comes with the book (the DVD includes the last few minutes of the first half and the entire second half). That's what I'm going to do.

I'll be interested to see how much media coverage the 40th anniversary gets. As I find online articles, I'll add links to them, below...

J.R. Gonzales, who writes a "Bayou City History" blog for the Houston Chronicle, has an extensive retrospective on the game, including some amazing photos (including one of the extra-long bed a Houston hotel commissioned for UCLA's 7-foot-2 Lew Alcindor, later known as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar).

The San Antonio Express-News also has a retrospective on the game (identified by "AustinCougr" on a Houston Cougars discussion board).

There's also an article in the Los Angeles Times.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Coach Lewis Injured in Fall

The Houston Chronicle reports that former UH Coach Guy V. Lewis was injured in a fall prior to last Saturday's Houston-Arizona game at which he was honored (see entry below). In fact, Lewis will need to undergo surgery to repair a broken hip.

The 85-year-old Lewis certainly was a real trooper last Saturday, going through with the festivities despite his injuries. I'm sure all basketball fans wish Coach Lewis the best in this situation.

This coming Sunday, January 20, is the 40th anniversary of the Houston-UCLA Game of the Century and it's sad that the winning coach in that game (or anyone associated with it, for that matter) is in a serious medical situation around the time of the anniversary.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Coach Lewis Honored at Recent UH Game

Following up on my posting of a couple days ago, ceremonies were indeed held Saturday at the Arizona-Houston game to honor former Cougar Coach Guy V. Lewis. I found two online photo galleries of the events, one from the Houston Chronicle and the other from UH Athletics/College Sports Television (CSTV). Most of the shots in both sets feature action from the Arizona game, but each gallery has a photo of Lewis (the Chronicle's is devoted to college basketball generally, so it also includes photos from other Saturday games in the region). Links are provided below. Only the Chronicle's photos have captions, so it's probably best to look at them first, to learn who everyone is.

Houston Chronicle college basketball gallery

UH/CSTV photo gallery


Friday, January 11, 2008

Former UH Players to Honor Coach Lewis as 40th Anniversary of GOTC Approaches

With the 40th anniversary of the GOTC just nine days away, what appears to be the closest thing to a commemoration of the historic event will be occurring tomorrow at UH. According to this article in the Houston Chronicle:

[Coach Tom] Penders will bring an 11-2 UH team to the Guy V. Lewis Court at Hofheinz Pavilion on Saturday afternoon for a game against the Arizona Wildcats. Lewis will give up his usual spot in an upper-level box to sit courtside during the first half. He is 85, and he suffered a severe stroke nearly six years ago, so he doesn't get around so easily anymore.

A courtside seat is a must for Lewis to participate in the halftime ceremony planned in his honor. Former UH greats Elvin Hayes, Don Chaney and Otis Birdsong will be among those present to pay tribute to Lewis, who this past fall got inducted into the College Basketball Hall of Fame. Lewis won 592 games in 30 seasons at his alma mater, leading 14 teams to the NCAA Tournament and five to the Final Four.

Hayes and Chaney, of course, played in the 1968 classic against UCLA (with Hayes scoring 39 points), and Lewis was the Cougar coach at the time. Birdsong played for UH in the mid-1970s.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Basketball Times Article on GOTC 40th Anniversary

Welcome to any visitors who may have discovered this site via the mention in the Basketball Times article on the 40th anniversary of the Game of the Century (upcoming two weeks from today), in the January 2008 issue of the publication.

Written by Editor John Akers, the GOTC retrospective completely fills three of Basketball Times' oversized pages. Most of what's in the article would probably be known to hardcore fans who've read the books written by the principals of the UCLA-Houston game (e.g., Eddie Einhorn, Dick Enberg, and John Wooden).

I did, however, pick up a few tidbits of information that were new to me. For example, I had not known that the University of Houston played a few additional games in the Astrodome in the immediate years after 1968.