Guy Lewis named Basketball Hall of Fame finalist - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

Guy Lewis named Basketball Hall of Fame finalist

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HOUSTON (FOX 26) -

Former University of Houston coach Guy Lewis is a finalist for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass.

After being told the news by his wife Dena, Guy Lewis told FOX 26 Sports, "It feels pretty good."

His wife feels the same way.

"It's wonderful," Dena Lewis said. "He's deserving."

Finalists for the Hall of Fame were announced in Houston on Friday during NBA All-Star weekend.

The only other time Lewis has made it this far in the selection process was 2003.

2013 is the first year he has been on the ballot in five years.

Lewis must receive 75 percent, or 18 of the 24 votes, to get the call from the Hall of Fame.

The 2013 class will be announced at the Final Four in Atlanta.

Lewis' former players like Clyde Drexler, Hakeem Olajuwon and Elvin Hayes have been outspoken in their support for Lewis to make the Hall.

He has an impressive resume.

During his 30 years as head coach he led UH to the Final Four five times, 14 appearances in the NCAA Tournament and he won 592 games.

Lewis led the Cougars in the early 1980's, the teams known as Phi Slama Jama, to the Final Four three consecutive years.

"He's more deserving than Elvin Hayes, Hakeem Olajuwon, and myself," Drexler said after the announcement. "He helped shape and mold us into the players that we became."

Hayes agrees.

"Somebody finally saw the visionary work of Guy V. Lewis," Hayes said in an interview with FOX 26 Sports.

"Maybe now the right thing is going to take place and Coach is going to get into the place he so richly deserves."

Olajuwon is thrilled for his former coach at UH.

"Me & the rest of the players have been fighting this battle for a long time," Olajuwon said. "It's way overdue.

"The voters need to know the impact that Guy had on college basketball." 

Jerry Colangelo, chairman of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame board of governors, believes Lewis' time has come.

"His resume speaks for itself," Colangelo said. "I know he was an early pioneer of bringing African-American players into the game, and I think from a diversity issue that's a big thing in my mind and in the minds of a lot of voters.

"Of course he had great success. He had great players. He was a pioneer in many ways. So he's really deserving of being here."

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