'Nova's Massimino, Raveling enter Hall
KANSAS CITY - It was billed as the "Game of the Century" and Elvin Hayes responded by playing the game of his life.
The 6-9 front-liner with the trademark turnaround jumper would go on to a Hall of Fame NBA career, but the signature performance in his basketball life came on a January night in 1968.
That's when Hayes and the University of Houston ended the 47-game winning streak of Lew Alcindor and UCLA before 52,000 at the Astrodome in the first nationally televised regular-season college basketball game.
Hayes was the headliner at the 2013 National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame induction ceremony last night. The other honorees included coaches Rollie Massimino (Villanova) and Gene Keady (Purdue), players Xavier McDaniel (Wichita State), Marques Johnson (UCLA), Tom McMillen (Maryland) and Bob Hopkins (Grambling); contributors George Raveling and George Killian and the Loyola-Chicago team that won a national championship in 1963. The Ramblers were the first NCAA champion with at least four black players in the starting lineup.
Hayes had 39 points and 15 rebounds in a 71-69 Houston victory that mesmerized the nation, cementing his place in college basketball history and helping propel the sport to a new level of popularity.
"It made basketball a marketable sport," Hayes said. "We have three NBA teams in Texas that have all won championships and I think it was due to that game. When we first came to Texas, football was it. That game showed basketball could thrive with big arenas and a national television audience."
Massimino is best known for leading Villanova to a stunning upset of Patrick Ewing and Georgetown in the 1985 NCAA championship game.
"I still haven't watched the film because I still think we are going to lose," Massimino joked.
Raveling was honored for his contributions to college basketball. Raveling, a former Villanova star who was a head coach at Washington State, Iowa and USC, travels extensively to promote the sport as Nike's director of international basketball.