Nine Hoops Greats to Be Honored Saturday
CORAL GABLES, Fla. - Nine Miami Hurricanes basketball greats will be honored at halftime of Saturday's men's basketball game vs. North Carolina at BankUnited Center. Among those honored Saturday will be University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame members Octavia Blue (2008 ACC Legend), Francis Savage (1992 SI National Player of the Year), Wayne Beckner, Eric Brown (2011 ACC Legend), Abe Friedman, Ron Godfrey (2012 ACC Legend), Dick Hickox, Mike Wittman (2013 ACC Legend) and Bruce Hale.
Blue (1994-98), currently an assistant coach on Katie Meier's Hurricanes staff, was a first-team All-BIG EAST and third-team All-American selection in 1998. She was a 2008 ACC Legend and is UM's career leader in 3-point field goals. Ranking fifth at UM in career points, she is one of only three players in program history with 1,700 points and 600 rebounds.
Savage (1987-92) is one of only two women's basketball players to have their jersey (No. 24) retired at 'The U'. She ranks third all-time at Miami in career scoring, but owns the program's highest career scoring average. She was the 1992 BIG EAST Player of the Year and Tournament MVP as the Canes won the league title. She was first-team All-America and was named Sports Illustrated National Player of the Year in 1992.
Hickox (1958-61) was Miami's first All-American in 1960, when he averaged 22 points for head coach Bruce Hale's Hurricanes team as they reached the NCAA tournament for the first time in program history. He was also a member of the last Miami team to be ranked No. 8 in the nation. Hickox, who passed away in 2006, will be represented by his son, Scott Hickox.
Before shot clocks, 3-point field goals or basketball scholarship, Friedman (1946-50) helped Hart Morris' teams compile 64 wins in four seasons, including Miami's first 20-win season in 1946. He played in 88 consecutive games for the Hurricanes.
Playing alongside Hurricane Legend Rick Barry, the 6-foot-5 Beckner (1962-65), an Indiana native, was a power inside, one grabbing 24 rebounds in a game. In 1965, he averaged 18 points and 8 rebounds to lead the Hurricanes to a third consecutive 20-win season.
Brown (1985-89) was the leading man when the Hurricanes basketball program was revived in the 1980s. He is the second-leading scorer in Miami history with 2,270 points, including 54 games with 20+ points. He holds the UM career records for FG percentage and FT attempts and was named a 2011 ACC Legend.
An honorable mention All-America selection in 1961, Godfrey (1958-61, 1967-71) ranks among the Top 10 at Miami in seven different categories. Godfrey, a 2012 ACC Legend, finished his career with a 17.5 points-per-game average and he later coached the Hurricanes from 1967-71.
Wittman (1964-67) helped guide Coach Hale's 1965 team to a school-record 98.4 scoring average. Miami's two-time MVP averaged 22 points per game in his last two seasons in Coral Gables. Recognized as the "father of aerial sports broadcasting", he covered more than 2,500 live sporting events from the Goodyear blimp and is a 2013 ACC Legend.
Hale (1954-67) is still listed as Miami's winningest coach with 220 victories in 13 seasons. He coached such Hurricanes legends as Rick Barry, Wayne Beckner, Ron Godfrey, Dick Hickox and Mike Wittman. A beloved teacher and leader, he passed away in 1980, but his players, known as the "Hale Boys", sill gather every few years in Miami to honor their coach. Hale will be represented by his wife Doris Hale and son Alan.