PULLMAN – Klay Thompson won’t be the only Washington State luminary celebrated by the school this basketball season.
George Raveling, one of the most distinguished coaches in WSU history, will be honored at a ceremony when the Cougars host the Washington Huskies on Feb. 9 at Beasley Coliseum. WSU plans to hang Raveling’s name from the rafters of the arena at halftime of the annual rivalry game.
“George Raveling is an extraordinary figure in Cougar athletics history and is most deserving of this honor,” WSU athletic director Pat Chun said in a school release.
“A member of both the Naismith Memorial and College Basketball Halls of Fame, George left a tremendous legacy from his time in Pullman and positively impacted countless student-athletes, staff, faculty, alumni and fans.”
The third-winningest coach in program history spent 12 years in Pullman, from 1972-83, and took the Cougars to NCAA Tournaments in 1980 and ’83. WSU’s tournament appearance in 1980 was the school’s first since 1941.
Raveling won 167 games at WSU and was named the Pac-8/10 Conference Coach of the Year twice. Only Jack Friel (495) and Jack Bohler (226) won more games for the Cougars.
Raveling broke barriers, becoming the first African American to coach men’s basketball in the conference.
He’s also known for possessing the original notes from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech.
In 2004, WSU inducted Raveling into its Athletic Hall of Fame. In 2015, the coach was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. The National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame also inducted Raveling in 2013.
Thompson, one of the greatest players in school history, is also returning to the Palouse to be enshrined by WSU.
Thompson’s jersey retirement ceremony will take place on Jan. 18, coinciding with the Cougars’ game against Oregon State.
The school is still selling season tickets for men’s and women’s basketball and offering mini-plan ticket packages, with three- and five-game options. Any games, including Thompson’s jersey retirement, can be selected, with three-game plans starting at $45 and five-game plans beginning at $70.
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