SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — Former University of Michigan men’s basketball All-American and two-time NBA championship coach Rudy Tomjanovich was named one of nine legends who will make up the Class of 2020 for induction into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.
In addition to Tomjanovich, Patrick Baumann (FIBA), the late Kobe Bryant (NBA), Tim Duncan (NBA), Kevin Garnett (NBA), Eddie Sutton (NCAA, men’s coach), Tamika Catchings (NCAA, WNBA player), Kim Mulkey (NCAA, women’s coach) and Barbara Stevens (NCAA, women’s coach) will be honored as the Class of 2020.
A 1970 All-American and three-time All-Big Ten selection, “Rudy T” was a center for the Wolverines from 1967-70. He ranks sixth on the school’s career scoring list with 1,808 points and holds the career record for most rebounds with 1,039. He owns U-M single-game records for field goals made (21) and rebounds (30), and shares with Cazzie Russell the single-game scoring record (48 points).
Tomjanovich also holds Crisler Center records for points (48) and rebounds (27), setting the latter mark in the first game played in the facility against Kentucky on Dec. 6, 1967. In 2003, Tomjanovich was the second Wolverine to have their jersey honored as his No. 45 was raised to the rafters of Crisler.
Following his years at Michigan, Tomjanovich was the No. 2 pick in the 1970 NBA Draft and spent his 11-year playing career with the Houston Rockets, ranking third on the club’s all-time scoring list with 13,383 points and fourth on the rebounding list with 6,198. A five-time NBA All-Star, Tomjanovich retired from the NBA in October 1981, and his No. 45 jersey was retired by the Rockets on Jan. 28, 1982.
After a nine-year tenure as an assistant coach with the Rockets, he spent 12 years as head coach, becoming the franchise’s all-time leader in coaching victories. He led the Rockets to seven playoff appearances, including back-to-back NBA titles in 1994 and 1995. Tomjanovich also served as the head coach for the gold medal-winning United States team in the 2000 Summer Olympics.
Following his tenure with the Rockets, he moved on to coach the Los Angeles Lakers during the 2004-05 season. After 43 games, he resigned his coaching duties and moved into a consulting position with the club.
The induction ceremony is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 29. If the COVID-19 pandemic forces a delay, there is an alternate plan for a ceremony to be celebrated in October.