MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – A life-sized statue of former Mountaineer basketball great “Hot Rod” Hundley will be unveiled prior to the West Virginia-Oklahoma basketball game on Saturday, Feb. 20 at 2 p.m.
The statue, created by Morgantown artist Jamie Lester, will be on display in front of the WVU Coliseum Blue Gate, opposite of the Jerry West statue.
Hundley averaged 24.5 points per game during his three-year varsity career at West Virginia University from 1955-57 where he earned consensus All-America honors in 1957.
Hundley led the Mountaineers to three consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances during what was considered the “Golden Era” of WVU basketball.
The Charleston, West Virginia native holds the school record for points in a game with 54 scored against Furman on January 5, 1957, and he also once scored 62 points in a freshman game against Ohio University in 1954.
Hundley, Jerry West and Da’Sean Butler are the only three players in school history to score more than 2,000 points during their careers.
He was the first player taken in the 1957 NBA draft and played six seasons in the NBA with the Minneapolis and Los Angeles Lakers from 1958-63, earning all-star status twice in 1960-61.
Two bad knees forced Hundley’s early retirement from the league, but he later established himself as one of the game’s top broadcasters working for the Los Angeles Lakers, Phoenix Suns and New Orleans and Utah Jazz franchises.
Hundley was also a fixture on college and NBA basketball broadcasts for CBS in the 1970s and 1980s.
In 1994, he won the NBA’s Distinguished Broadcaster Award, an honor bestowed only twice previously, and in 2003, Hundley was inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame as a broadcaster.
West Virginia University retired his jersey number 33 on January 23, 2010 before the Ohio State game. After the halftime ceremony, Hundley grabbed a basketball and made a hook shot to a standing ovation.
Hundley died March 2015 at the age of 80.