Former UH Basketball Coach Guy V. Lewis to be inducted into Hall of Fame
SPRINGFIELD, MA (KTRK) -- A University of Houston coaching legend will have his name placed among the college and professional basketball greats, so we traveled to Springfield, Massachusetts, where the Hall of Fame ceremony is set to take place Sunday.
Former UH Basketball Coach Guy V. Lewis sits inside Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame with the ultimate sports garb across his lap: a Hall of Fame blazer.
From 1956 to 1986, Coach Lewis produced nearly 600 wins, including 5 NCAA Final Four appearances.
Though the first was in 1968, Coach Lewis is most widely known for producing the Phi Slama Jama team, which developed Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler, with a game played above the rim.
"He always said the dunk is a much safer and accurate shot than a jump shot, so he told his players, 'Anytime you can dunk, do so.' And Phi Slama Jama was born," the coach's son, Vern Lewis said.
Perhaps his most important contribution to the game is his recruiting of African American athletes well before the Civil Rights era.
"He saw that the great players, many were African Americans. And he said, 'In order for Houston to compete, I'll have to get some African American players,'" Vern Lewis said.
Now -- beneath the faces of basketball greats, at center court of the Basketball Hall of Fame -- Coach Lewis sits.
He will be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Sunday with two of his former players -- Elvin Hayes and Hakeen Olajuwon -- presenting the honor.
Please stay with us we continue our coverage of Lewis' induction. We are the only Houston crew in Massachusetts to cover the ceremony.
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