Dec. 30, 2004
Houston, Texas - He helped revolutionize college basketball, won 592 games, led five of his teams to the NCAA Final Four, coached 14 All-America players and produced three of the NBA's Top 50 Players of All-Time. So why hasn't former University of Houston basketball coach Guy V. Lewis been inducted the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame?
FSN Southwest tackles that question and chronicles the life of Houston's legendary coach in GUY V. LEWIS: DESTINED FOR FAME, a one-hour documentary that premieres January 10 at 7:00 p.m. (CST) and is telecast several times throughout the month of January.
The show traces Lewis' life from his humble beginnings in Arp, Texas, playing basketball in a pasture near his grandparents' home, to his collegiate playing days at the Rice University and the University of Houston through his magnificent coaching career with the Cougars.
As Houston's head coach, Lewis helped revolutionize college basketball in 1968 as the creator of the UCLA-Houston "Game of the Century" that attracted an all-time record crowd of over 52,000 fans at the Astrodome and was the sport's first regular season primetime national telecast.
He also was a leader in sports integration in the South when he signed Elvin Hayes and Don Chaney, the first two African-American basketball players at Houston.
In addition, Lewis was one of the early advocates of the spread offense and full-court pressure defense.
Despite his many achievements, Lewis has not been inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, leaving many of his loyal followers mystified.
GUY V. LEWIS: DESTINED FOR FAME includes interviews with several former University of Houston players who champion the cause for their coach's induction to the Hall of Fame. Hayes, Chaney, Clyde Drexler, Hakeem Olajuwon, Otis Birdsong, Reid Gettys, current Houston coach Tom Penders and many others recall their memories shared with the extraordinary coach.
GUY V. LEWIS: DESTINED FOR FAME was written and is narrated by FSN Southwest's Greg Lucas, who also co-produced the show with Patti Smith and Bill Worrell.
The documentary is part of FSN Southwest's "Sports Legends of the Southwest" series that chronicles the lives of the region's top sports stars. The series debuted in December 2003 with JERRY LEVIAS: A MARKED MAN, an award-winning, critically-acclaimed profile of the former SMU football player who was the first black scholarship athlete in the Southwest Conference.
Below are a few excerpts from the documentary on Lewis: "The only person who I can say has done more for the game of basketball was Dr. James A. Naismith, who invented it. Otherwise Guy Lewis is right there. His footprint is all across the development of the game of basketball. He revolutionized the game.
"Everyone from Dean Smith, who was playing the four-corner offense, changed their game when we came to the University of Houston and began to play our style of basketball. That was all due to Guy V. Lewis. Filling up big arenas was all due to Guy V. Lewis. He deserves to be in the Hall of Fame."
Former University of Houston player Elvin Hayes
"I think the only reason Coach Lewis hasn't been inducted into the Hall of Fame is because he's never been one to self-promote. He should be in the Hall of Fame based on his merit and what he's contributed to the game. I think he's earned the right to be in the Hall of Fame."
Former University of Houston player Clyde Drexler
"He did so much for college basketball with that single game against UCLA. Without Guy Lewis and that great game at the Astrodome I don't know if college basketball would be where it is today. There is no logical reason why he's not in the Hall of Fame right now. My goal is to help him get there by bringing Houston back so people start talking about Guy Lewis the way they should be. He was a great coach, a pioneer and a credit to the profession."
Current University of Houston basketball coach Tom Penders
Below is a schedule for the airing of the show:
Guy V. Lewis: Destined For Fame
Jan. 10- 7:00 p.m.
Jan. 13- 6:30 p.m.
Jan. 22- 9:00 p.m.
Jan. 25- 9:00 p.m.
Jan. 27- 6:30 p.m.*
Jan. 28- 7:00 p.m. **
* -- only in Texas & Okla.; ** -- only in Southeast Texas