Elvin Hayes

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Elvin Hayes
Elvin Hayes.jpg
Personal information
Born (1945-11-17) November 17, 1945 (age 68)
Rayville, Louisiana
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m)
Listed weight 235 lb (107 kg)
Career information
High school Eula D. Britton
(Rayville, Louisiana)
College Houston (1965–1968)
NBA draft 1968 / Round: 1 / Pick: 1st overall
Selected by the San Diego Rockets
Pro career 1968–1984
Position Center / Power forward
Number 11, 44
Career history
19681972 San Diego / Houston Rockets
19721981 Baltimore / Capital / Washington Bullets
19811984 Houston Rockets
Career highlights and awards
Career statistics
Points 27,313 (21.0 ppg)
Rebounds 16,279 (12.5 rpg)
Blocks 1,171 (2.0 bpg)
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com
Basketball Hall of Fame as player
College Basketball Hall of Fame
Inducted in 2013

Elvin Ernest Hayes (born November 17, 1945) is a retired American basketball player and radio analyst for Houston Cougars men's basketball, where he played college basketball. He is a member of the NBA's 50th Anniversary All-Time Team, and an inductee of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Early years[edit]

A quiet, introverted youth, Hayes first picked up a basketball in eighth grade, by accident. He was wrongly blamed for playing a classroom prank and was sent to the principal's office. But another teacher, Reverend Calvin, saw Hayes and said he was welcome in his class. Although the youngster showed no inclination for any sports, Calvin thought he would benefit by playing basketball and put him on the school team. Hayes was so clumsy, however, that he evoked laughter with his awkward attempts at shooting and dribbling.

But young Hayes was determined to improve, and during the summers he practiced long hours. As a 6'5" ninth grader he was a benchwarmer on the junior varsity squad at Britton High School when he became determined to crack the starting lineup. "I was too weak to shoot the turnaround then," Hayes recalled, "so all summer long I shot with a small rubber ball at a basket in my yard. My development was almost overnight."

In Hayes's senior year, 1963–64, he led Britton to the state championship, averaging 35 points during the regular season. In the championship game he picked up 45 points and 20 rebounds.

College life in Houston[edit]

One of only five numbers retired by the University of Houston men's basketball team, Hayes's #44 hangs in Hofheinz Pavilion.

Hayes and Don Chaney were the University of Houston's first African American basketball players in 1966.

In 1966, Hayes led the Cougars into the Western Regional semi-finals of the 1966 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament before losing to the Pac-8 champion Oregon State Beavers.

In 1967, he led the Cougars to the Final Four of the 1967 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament. He would attempt 31 field goals, and score 25 points and 24 rebounds in a semi-final loss to the eventual champion UCLA Bruins featuring Lew Alcindor (now known as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar). His rebounding total is second to Bill Russell's Final Four record of 27.[1][2]

On January 20, 1968, the Big E and the Houston Cougars faced Lew and the UCLA Bruins in the first-ever nationally televised regular season college basketball game. In front of a record 52,693 fans at the Houston Astrodome, Hayes scored 39 points and had 15 rebounds while limiting Alcindor to just 15 points as Houston beat UCLA 71–69 to snap the Bruins' 47-game winning streak in what has been called the "Game of the Century". That game helped Hayes earn The Sporting News College Basketball Player of the Year.

One month later, he grabbed a career-high 37 rebounds in a game against Centenary on February 10.

In the rematch to the "Game of the Century", Hayes faced Alcindor and UCLA in the 1968 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena. He was held to 10 points, losing to Alcindor and the Bruins 101-69 in the semi-final game.[2]

Houston's Hayes is carried in a victory celebration after the defeat of UCLA in the Game of the Century at the Astrodome

Hayes led Houston in scoring (1966 27.2 points per game, 1967 28.4, and 1968 36.8). For his college career, Hayes averaged 31.0 points per game and 17.2 rebounds per game.

With his departure from college Hayes was selected in the first round of the 1968 NBA Draft by the San Diego Rockets and by the Houston Mavericks in the 1968 ABA Draft.

While a student at Houston, Hayes was initiated into the Alpha Nu Omega Chapter of the Iota Phi Theta Fraternity.[3]

NBA career[edit]

Hayes joined the NBA with the San Diego Rockets in 1968 and in his rookie year, he scored a career-high 54 points against the Detroit Pistons on November 11 of that year. As a rookie, Hayes led the NBA in scoring with 28.4 points per game, averaged 17.1 rebounds per game, and was named to the NBA All-Rookie Team. Hayes' scoring average is the fifth best all-time for a rookie, and he remains the last rookie to lead the NBA in scoring average.

In Hayes' second season, he led the NBA in rebounding, becoming the first player other than Bill Russell or Wilt Chamberlain to lead the category since 1957 (Chamberlain was injured during much of the season). In Hayes' third season, 1970–71, he scored a career best 28.7 points per game. In 1971, the Rockets moved to Houston, enabling Hayes to play in the city of his college triumphs. In 1972, Hayes was traded to the Baltimore Bullets, where he teamed with Hall-Of-Famer Wes Unseld to form a fierce and dominating frontcourt combination. The 18.1 rebounds per game Hayes averaged in 1974 is the third highest rebounding average of any NBA player since Wilt Chamberlain retired in 1973.

Hayes and Unseld later led the Washington Bullets to 3 NBA Finals (1975, 1978, and 1979), and an NBA title over The Seattle SuperSonics in 1978. He shined brightly, especially in the NBA playoffs. During the Bullets' championship season (1978), he averaged 21.8 points and 12.1 rebounds per game in 21 playoff games. One year later, he set an NBA Finals record for most offensive rebounds in a game (11), in a May 27, 1979 game against the SuperSonics. The Chicago Bulls' Dennis Rodman would tie this record twice, both games coming in the 1996 NBA Finals, also against the SuperSonics.

On June 8, 1981, Hayes was traded to the Houston Rockets. The "Big E" closed out his career with the Rockets in 1984. Hayes had a career scoring average of 21.0 points and 12.5 rebounds per game. He played at least 80 games in every season. He ranks fourth in NBA history in total rebounds, behind Chamberlain, Russell and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

After basketball[edit]

Shortly after finishing his career in the NBA, Hayes returned to the University of Houston to finish the last thirty credit hours of his undergraduate degree. When interviewed about the experience, Hayes mentioned, "I played 16 years of pro basketball, but this is the hardest thing I've ever done."[4]

For a while he owned a car dealership in Crosby, Texas. In November 2007, Hayes became a City of Liberty Police Reserve Officer, fulfilling a childhood dream.[5] On November 22, 2010, it was announced that he would serve as an analyst for radio broadcasts of Houston Cougars games on Houston's KBME.[6] Hayes is currently a reserve police officer with the City of Jersey Village, a suburb of Houston.

Stats and honors[edit]

In his career with the San Diego/Houston Rockets and the Baltimore/Capital/Washington Bullets, Hayes played 1,303 games over 16 seasons, registering 27,313 points (eighth all-time) and 16,279 rebounds (fourth all-time). Hayes never missed more than two games in any of his 16 seasons in the NBA. In addition to his 1968 scoring title, he led the NBA in rebounding in 1970 and 1974. Hayes played in twelve straight NBA All-Star Games from 1969 to 1980.

Hayes was named to the NBA's 50th Anniversary All-Time Team during the 1996–97 NBA season and was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1990. He boycotted the Hall of Fame beginning in 1990 and refused to return until Guy Lewis, his coach at the University of Houston, was admitted.[7] Lewis was admitted to the Hall of Fame in 2013.

In 2003, Hayes was also inducted by the San Diego Hall of Champions into the Breitbard Hall of Fame honoring San Diego's finest athletes both on and off the playing surface. [1]

Career highs[edit]

Top scoring games[edit]

Points Opponent Date
54 vs. Detroit Pistons November 13, 1968
50 vs. Seattle SuperSonics November 20, 1970
49 (OT) vs. Seattle SuperSonics January 30, 1970
48 at Cincinnati Royals November 25, 1970
47 at Golden State Warriors March 13, 1977

Top shot-blocking efforts[edit]

Unofficially recorded
Blocks Opponent Date
13 vs. Phoenix Suns December 28, 1968
13 vs. Milwaukee Bucks March 19, 1971
13 vs. Phoenix Suns March 21, 1971
11 Golden State Warriors
(at College Park, MD)
December 16, 1972
11 at Detroit Pistons March 3, 1978
10 at Cincinnati Royals February 12, 1969
10 vs. San Francisco Warriors January 8, 1970
10 vs. San Francisco Warriors February 14, 1970
9 vs. Phoenix Suns March 6, 1977
8 vs. Kansas City Kings March 18, 1976
8 at Phoenix Suns November 25, 1976
8 vs. Chicago Bulls November 14, 1979
8 vs. San Antonio Spurs February 22, 1980
8 vs. Atlanta Hawks March 28, 1980
8 vs. Detroit Pistons December 5, 1980

Regular season[edit]

Stat High Opponent Date
Field goal percentage
Field goals made 20 vs. Detroit Pistons November 13, 1968
Field goals made 20 vs. Kansas City Kings December 15, 1976
Field goals made 20 at Golden State Warriors March 13, 1977
Field goal attempts 45 vs. Detroit Pistons November 13, 1968
Free throws made, none missed
Free throw attempts, none made 0—8 vs. Portland Trail Blazers March 26, 1972
Free throws made 17 vs. Golden State Warriors February 26, 1978
Free throw attempts 23 at Cincinnati Royals January 30, 1971
Rebounds 35 at New York Knicks January 19, 1971
Rebounds 32 at Atlanta Hawks November 17, 1973
Rebounds 30 vs. Los Angeles Lakers December 5, 1970
Offensive rebounds 11 vs. Phoenix Suns January 5, 1979
Defensive rebounds 28 at Atlanta Hawks November 17, 1973
Assists 11 at Cleveland Cavaliers December 1, 1971
Assists 11 vs. San Antonio Spurs April 13, 1984
Steals

Playoffs[edit]

Stat High Opponent Date
Points 46 vs. Buffalo Braves April 20, 1975
Field goal percentage
Field goals made 19 at New York Knicks March 29, 1974
Field goals made 19 vs. Buffalo Braves April 20, 1975
Field goal attempts 34
Free throws made, none missed
Free throws made, one missed
Free throws made 12
Free throw attempts 16
Rebounds 23
Offensive rebounds 11 at San Antonio Spurs April 16, 1978
Offensive rebounds 11 at Seattle SuperSonics May 27, 1979
Defensive rebounds 19 at Cleveland Cavaliers April 15, 1977
Assists 6
Steals 6 vs. Atlanta Hawks April 24, 1979
Blocked shots 8 (OT) vs. Cleveland Cavaliers April 26, 1976

NBA career statistics[edit]

Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high
Led the league

Regular season[edit]

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
1968–69 San Diego Rockets 82 - 45.1 .447 - .626 17.1 1.4 - - 28.4
1969–70 San Diego Rockets 82 - 44.7 .452 - .688 16.9 2.0 - - 27.5
1970–71 San Diego Rockets 82 - 44.3 .428 - .672 16.6 2.3 - - 28.7
1971–72 Houston Rockets 82 - 42.2 .434 - .649 14.6 3.3 - - 25.2
1972–73 Baltimore Bullets 81 - 41.3 .444 - .671 14.5 1.6 - - 21.2
1973–74 Capital Bullets 81 - 44.5 .423 - .721 18.1 2.0 1.1 3.0 21.4
1974–75 Washington Bullets 82 - 42.3 .443 - .766 12.2 2.5 1.9 2.3 23.0
1975–76 Washington Bullets 80 - 37.2 .470 - .628 11.0 1.5 1.3 2.5 19.8
1976–77 Washington Bullets 82 - 41.0 .501 - .687 12.5 1.9 1.1 2.7 23.7
1977–78 Washington Bullets 81 - 40.1 .451 - .634 13.3 1.8 1.2 2.0 19.7
1978–79 Washington Bullets 82 - 37.9 .487 - .654 12.1 1.7 .9 2.3 21.8
1979–80 Washington Bullets 81 - 39.3 .454 .231 .699 11.1 1.5 .8 2.3 23.0
1980–81 Washington Bullets 81 - 36.2 .451 .000 .617 9.7 1.2 .8 2.1 17.8
1981–82 Houston Rockets 82 82 37.0 .472 .000 .664 9.1 1.8 .8 1.3 16.1
1982–83 Houston Rockets 81 43 28.4 .476 .500 .683 7.6 2.0 .6 1.0 12.9
1983–84 Houston Rockets 81 4 12.3 .406 .000 .652 3.2 .9 .2 .3 5.0
Career 1303  ? 38.4 .452 .147 .670 12.5 1.8 1.0 2.0 21.0
All-Star 12 4 22.0 .403 0 .647 7.7 1.4 .4 .5 10.5

See also[edit]

NBA[edit]

College[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ NCAA Men's Basketball Final Four Individual and Team Records
  2. ^ a b 2007–2008 UCLA Men's Basketball Media Guide - PDF copy available at www.uclabruins.com. pg. 61 Post Season Scoring Recaps
  3. ^ http://www.iotaphitheta.org/about/notable-iota-men-2
  4. ^ Callahan, Tom (1985-12-23). "Impressions in Black and White". Time Magazine. Retrieved 2009-02-22. 
  5. ^ Local basketball legend now a sheriff's deputy
  6. ^ "Elvin Hayes to Join Men's Basketball Radio Broadcast Crew". Houston Cougars athletics. 2010-11-22. Retrieved 2010-11-23. 
  7. ^ http://www.boston.com/sports/colleges/mens_basketball/articles/2012/03/30/guy_lewis_still_waiting_for_call_from_hall/.  Missing or empty |title= (help)[dead link]

Further reading[edit]

  • Heisler, Mark (2003). Giants: The 25 Greatest Centers of All Time. Chicago: Triumph Books. ISBN 1-57243-577-1. 

External links[edit]