It was announced on Friday that former Michigan Wolverines basketball and NBA star Rudy Tomjanovich would be inducted into the 2020 Naismith Hall of Fame, alongside former NBA standouts Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett.
After being selected with the second overall pick in the 1970 NBA draft, Tomjanovich spent the entirety of his professional playing career with the San Diego/Houston Rockets from 1970-81, before serving as the Rockets’ head coach from 1992-2003 and finally the Los Angeles Lakers head man from 2004-05.
The 6-8 forward posted incredible numbers during his three years at U-M (1967-70), averaging 19.5 points and 13.5 rebounds as a freshman, 25.7 points and 14.5 rebounds as a sophomore and 30.1 points and 15.5 boards as a junior.
His 1,039 career rebounds are the most in school history, and he earned first-team All-Big Ten honors in both 1969 and 1970, along with All-American recognition in the latter.
Tomjanovich also holds the Crisler Center record for points and field goals in a game, pouring in 48 of the former and 21 of the latter in 1969 against Indiana. The Hamtramck, Mich., native carried that success over to the NBA, averaging 17.4 points and 8.1 boards per game during his 12 years as a professional player.
Tomjanovich made the NBA All-Star team on five separate occasions (1974-77, 1979), and saw his No. 45 jersey retired by Houston once his playing career wrapped up. The 71-year old’s success continued during his coaching days as well, leading the Rockets to NBA championships in both 1994 and 1995, while also leading the USA men’s basketball team to a gold medal in the 2000 Summer Olympics.
The Naismith will be the third hall of fame induction for Tomjanovich, who is already a member of the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame and the Houston Sports Hall of Fame.
Current U-M head coach Juwan Howard offered his congratulations to Tomjanovich today with the following tweet: