Nov. 21, 2011
Cazzie Russell remembers the year being 1958 and the place being Chicago. He was just a freshman at Carver High School, but his height -- 6 feet 1 -- was eye-popping.
His basketball skills, however, were not. Russell would go on to a prolific basketball career at the University of Michigan, but he insists he didn't know much about the sport back then.
Fortunately for Russell, one of the inductees into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame on Sunday, that lack of knowledge did not deter Larry Hawkins.
Russell remembers Hawkins as a physical education teacher at the school. Hawkins was also the boys basketball coach, which means he was always searching for height. So after one class that September, Hawkins asked Russell and two other students to stay after class for some drills.
"He wanted us to drive to the basket, make some layups," Russell says. "And I took it serious, man. I ran up to the basket and aimed for the square."
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