Springfield, MA, United States (4E Sports) – Former UNLV coach Jerry Tarkanian plans to thank “a lot of people” who followed the Rebels during his induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame this weekend in Springfield, Massachusetts.
“It’s going to be a very important night for our university, not nearly as important for me,” said the 83-year-old Tarkanian. “This is really big for our university. We’re going to have a big following.”
Tarkanian, who coached UNLV from 1973 to 1992 and led the Rebels to the national title in 1990, will be inducted into the Hall of Fame Sunday along with Louisville’s Pitino and former Houston coach Guy V. Lewis, now 91.
With Tarkanian battling health problems, the plan is for him to stand and give a few words. He will make his way to the stage with a walker as he’s being presented by Hall of Famers Bill Walton and Pete Carril.
However, Tarkanian will also tape a speech just in case he’s not able to do it live Sunday.
Tarkanian has a 706-198 coaching record with Fresno State and UNLV. He also coached the San Antonio Spurs in 1992 but was fired after accumulating a 9-11 record.
Pitino, who led Louisville to the national title this year, said he’s proud of joining the Hall of Fame with Tarkanian.
Pitino will have quite a following in attendance due to several coaching stops in his career, from Syracuse to Boston University to Providence to the Knicks to Kentucky to the Celtics to Louisville.
He will be presented by Hall of Fame contributor Dick Vitale of ESPN and ESPN NBA analyst, mentor and former NBA coach Hubie Brown.