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Saturday, September 30, 2023

Staff Editorial

Lewis finally gets his due

 Guy V. Lewis’ induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame brought together the highest ranking members of athletics and academics on Sunday.

President Renu Khator, Athletics Director Mack Rhoades and basketball coach James Dickey were among the large group of the administration that made the 1,779-mile trip from Houston to Springfield, Mass., for the induction ceremony.

During his 30 years as head coach, Lewis put Houston basketball on the map and became synonymous with the University. He won 592 games, made five trips to the Final Four and recruited three of the 50 greatest NBA players of all time — Hakeem Olajuwon, Clyde Drexler and Elvin Hayes — to play their college ball at Hofheinz Pavilion.

The current basketball team is still chasing the legend Lewis’ 27 consecutive winning seasons left behind.

The Daily Cougar has been covering Lewis’ Hall of Fame induction snub since the mid-1990s. Since then, almost every Cougar sports editor has written a story outlining the reason why Lewis should be in the Hall or covered his unfortunate decline in health.

We’re  lucky to be the editorial board to see Lewis’ enshrinement come to fruition.

When his health began to fade and he suffered more than one stroke and a diagnosis of the neurological disorder aphasia, many just hoped that Lewis, 91, would live to see himself receive basketball’s biggest honor.

Lewis was a larger-than-life coach while he patrolled the sidelines. He is still remembered in the basketball program every time the team steps on Guy V. Lewis Court, but young fans have gotten a history lesson since news broke in April that Lewis would be enshrined.

The Cougar has written eight stories, including today’s front page story, about Lewis in that time span. Lewis will always be remembered at UH for his accomplishments, but his induction into the Hall just ensured that the basketball world will always take a peek.

The UH basketball community couldn’t ask for anything better.

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