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“Game of the Century” Retrospective (1982)


Sound | 1982

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  •  Howie Lorch, team manager for the University of Houston in 1968 
  •  “The Big E against the Big A” refers to UH’s Elvin Hayes and UCLA’s Lew Alcindor (now known as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) 
  •  Ken Spain reflects on the matchup. Spain was born and raised in Houston. After the “Game of the Century,” he went on to win a gold medal with the US men’s basketball team at the 1968 Olympics and play football with the former Pittsburgh Condors.  
  •  Tip off 
  •  Don Chaney calls the game the “highest point” of his basketball career. Chaney played professional basketball from 1968 to 1979, winning two NBA championships. He served as coach for the Houston Rockets from 1988 to 1992, winning NBA Coach of the Year in 1991.  
  •  Vern Lewis, son of former UH head coach Guy Lewis 
  •  Elvin Hayes considers the impact of the game. Hayes played professional basketball from 1968 to 1984, including four seasons with the Houston Rockets. He currently works as a radio analyst for his alma mater. Hayes’ jersey number, 44, is one of five numbers retired by the UH men’s basketball team. He was inducted into the College Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006. 
  •  Cougars win! 
  •  Back in the KPRC studio with former UH head coach Guy Lewis. After 20 years as UH head coach, Lewis was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2007. 
  •  Lewis presents the “Cougar of the Week,” Michael Young. Young played professional basketball from 1984 to 1998 before returning to his alma mater as a coach.  
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This 1982 segment for Houston’s KPRC-TV asks former University of Houston men’s basketball players and coaching staff to reflect on the “Game of the Century.” On January 20, 1968, the Houston Cougars played the UCLA Bruins at the Astrodome. Both teams were undefeated. Some 53,000 people filled the historic stadium, while countless more watched from home. The game was the first NCAA regular season game broadcast nationwide in prime time. The Cougars won 71-69. (UCLA went on to win the 1968 NCAA title after getting its revenge on Houston in the semifinals.) Players from both teams went on to have successful professional careers, including Houston’s Elvin Hayes and UCLA’s Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.