Dec. 28, 2013
HOUSTON - Former University of Houston guard Cecil Rose, whose arrival at UH started a family connection that continues still, passed away Friday at his Houston home. He was 58 years old.
Rose, who hailed from Nassau, Bahamas, joined the Cougars for the 1974-75 season and finished with four letters under legendary head coach Guy V. Lewis. He connected on 52.2 percent of his shots from the field during his collegiate career and scored 1,244 points, a total which continues to rank 23rd in school history.
From 1974-78, Rose helped lead the Cougars to a 87-37 record with a berth in the NIT Championship Game in 1977 and an appearance in the NCAA Tournament First Round in 1978.
As a senior in 1977-78, he averaged a career-high 17.6 points per game and was named to the All-Southwest Conference Second Team and NABC All-District 9 Third Team.
Following his collegiate playing days, he was taken in the fifth round of the 1978 NBA Draft by the New Jersey Nets and played professionally for two years before returning to Houston as a graduate assistant coach for the 1980-81 season. Most recently, he was working in Houston for the Bahamas Tourism Office.
"I will always remember Cecil's passion for the game and his fierce competitiveness, and we became great friends," said Houston great Otis Birdsong, who played with Rose from 1974 to 1977. "He was a great teammate and the kind of guy you wanted to go into battle with."
"Our thoughts and prayers go out to L.J., Lynden and the Rose family during this difficult time," head coach James Dickey said. "Our University and our Men's Basketball program are much better with the connection to the Rose family through the years, and we are saddened for their loss. Cecil will be greatly missed by all who knew him."
Funeral arrangements will be announced at a later time.
A FAMILY CONNECTION
Rose and his family have a long history at the University of Houston. His younger brother, Lynden Rose, played for the Cougars from 1980 to 1982 and was a member of Houston's celebrated Phi Slama Jama team before being selected by the Los Angeles Lakers in the sixth round of the 1982 NBA Draft.
Lynden Rose also served as a member of the UH Board of Regents from 2004 to 2009.
Three of Rose's sisters also attended UH, and the family connection continues today. His nephew, L.J. Rose, is currently a sophomore point guard for the 2013-14 team, competing in his first season at UH after transferring from Baylor.