KANSAS CITY, Mo. – It was billed as the “Game of the Century” and Elvin Hayes responded by playing the game of his life.
The 6-foot-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 Sunday night. The other honorees included players Xavier McDaniel of Wichita State, Marques Johnson of UCLA, Tom McMillen of Maryland and Bob Hopkins of Grambling; coaches Gene Keady and Rollie Massimino; 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.
Raveling and Killian were honored for their contributions to college basketball. Raveling, a former Washington State head coach, travels extensively to promote the sport as Nike’s director of international basketball. From 1990 to 1998, Killian was president of FIBA, the sport’s international governing body of basketball.
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