After full-court press from former players, Lewis makes Hall
When UH basketball greats Clyde Drexler, Hakeem Olajuwon and Elvin Hayes strolled down the red carpet at Hofheinz Pavilion to receive a trophy after being named to the NCAA’s All-Time players team, all Drexler wanted to talk about was getting former head coach Guy Lewis into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.
Drexler said Lewis’ impact will not be forgotten.
“We know that checkered towel is somewhere, and he’s biting on it,” Drexler said in March. “We just want to say we love you, and this year, hopefully, we’ll get you into the Hall of Fame where you rightfully deserve to be.”
Drexler said Lewis’ former players were putting on a full-court press to get him into the Hall of Fame. Now, unlike their playing days, they can take a break on defense. UH finally has a head coach in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.
According to the Houston Chronicle, Lewis has been selected as a member of the Hall of Fame.
The official announcement will occur at 10 a.m. Monday at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in Atlanta as part of Championship Monday of the NCAA Men’s Final Four. UH officials said they could not comment until after the announcement is made by UH alumnus and longtime Lewis supporter Jim Nantz on NBA TV.
Lewis spent 30 years at the helm of the University, winning 592 games and making five Final Four appearances. He is perhaps most known for being the architect of Phi Slama Jama and ‘The Game of the Century.’
Phi Slama Jama, a famous UH fraternity, is known for its highlight reel of dunks and two consecutive National title game appearances in the 1980s.
In ‘The Game of the Century,’ the Cougars took down UCLA 71-69 in the first nationally televised college basketball game.
Former UCLA head coach John Wooden told the San Antonio Express in 1998 that Lewis was tough to coach against.
“The coaches I hated coaching against were the real good ones, and Guy was one of those,” Wooden said. “I think Guy took a bum rap because he never won a national championship.”
Drexler said after being a proponent of his credentials for so long, Lewis getting into the Hall of Fame makes him happy.
“You grew up under his leadership. He was a great coach, knows everything about the game, but he was a great teacher of the game of life, which is more important,” Drexler said.
“For a guy like him, this (getting into the Hall of Fame) would not make or break him. For the guys who love him, we all feel he deserves it, that he belongs among the ranks of the greatest coaches ever.”
Lewis’ wife, Dena, said she cried when she heard the news.
“We think it’s great,” she told the Chronicle. “Long overdue. I cried when I heard.”
“Every time I think about it a smile comes across my face.”