By Melanie Evans Rivera
The relationship between Wade and Allan Houston is the stuff of basketball legend, but not just because Wade coached his son throughout his amazingly successful tenure with the Vols. Houston Sr. served as the mentor and inspiration for much of what Allan has gone on to do since retiring from the New York Knicks, and the NBA, in 2005. The father son duo continue to work together, building Allan’s “Father Knows Best” program.
Wade and Allan Houston are not the only famous father/son, player/coach duo to have enjoyed a successful and rewarding relationship both on and off the basketball court. Here is a little about some more of these extraordinary pairings:
Homer and Bryce Drew
Current Valparaiso coach Bryce Drew’s job runs in the family, as his Dad Homer coached the team for twenty two years, but often with Bryce close by as well.
Bryce Drew did not have an easy time growing up. As he entered high school it was discovered that he suffered from a rapid heartbeat, and he had to undergo three surgeries before being declared fit to play again.
With his Dad’s unending encouragement though, Bryce did make a comeback, and was named Indiana’s Mr. Basketball of 1994. Although heavily recruited by other schools, for college there was only one choice for Bryce in his mind – Valpo, to remain under the guidance of his father.
The playing highlight of the younger Drew’s career came in 1998, when he drained the improbable buzzer beater that began Valparaiso’s fairytale March Madness run, but in his four years under Homer he also scored three conference tournament MVP awards, two conference MVP awards, and is still Valparaiso’s all-time scoring, 3-point field goal, and assist leader.
After six seasons in the NBA, Bryce decided to retire and take an assistant coach’s position, on the bench right next to Homer at his alma mater. In 2011 Homer retired and Bryce took his place, as they had been planning he would for five years.
Press & Pete Maravich
Petar ‘Press’ Maravich was a colorful character, he earned his nickname for having a reputation, while still in high school, for being the one person who was always up to date on local gossip and happy to share his knowledge via ‘press’ style updates.
After a professional career that lasted four years, playing in both the NBA and BAA, Press decided to coach, eventually landing the job of head coach at LSU. In the meantime, his son Pete was showing every sign that he had what it took to make it big in basketball himself.
When it came to choosing which of the college offers Pete received he should take, Press was pretty adamant, telling his son, half in jest, that if he did not accept the offer from LSU he “If you don’t sign this … don’t ever come into my house again.”
Pete did go to LSU, where he became the star his father thought his could. Despite being excluded for
freshman year and the fact that he played in a time before the three point line was instituted, ‘Pistol’ Pete became, and still is, the all-time leading NCAA Division I scorer with 3,667 points scored and an average of 44.2 points per game. he then went on to play for the Atlanta Hawks and the New Orleans (and later Utah) Jazz before knee problems forced an early retirement.
Pete’s devotion to his father was well known as well. When Press was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1985, Pete devoted himself to his care and treatment, allowing only a niece to help occasionally.
Sadly, Press passed away in 1987, having lived just long enough to see his son inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. Just nine months later, Pete died suddenly, at the age of 40, as a result of a previously undisclosed heart condition.
Phog and Bobby Allen
Phog Allen is a legend in the history of college basketball coaching. Allen was one of the first coaches in any sport to encourage his players to use osteopathic manipulation techniques for injuries and he helped found the National Association of Basketball Coaches, the creators the NCAA tournament. There was also the small matter of successfully recruiting a kid called Wilt Chamberlin to his Kansas program.
Another of his great coaching successes was his own son, Bobby. Under his Dad’s reputably flamboyant guidance Bobby was chosen as an All-Big Six selection in 1939 and ’40, and he was instrumental in helping the Jayhawks to an NCAA runner-up finish in his senior year.
Michael and Steve Novak
The New York Knicks three point shooting specialist was coached by his father Michael for all four of the years he attended Brown Deer High School in Wisconsin. His Dad’s influence on his Steve’s career began far earlier than that though.
According to Michael and Steve’s Mom Jeanne his first attempts at making a basket were from his crib, as his father installed a mini basketball hoop that the young Novak was shooting for before he was a year old (a hoop that is now apparently installed over Steve’s young son Mack’s crib.)
Ray McCallum Sr. and Ray McCallum Jr.
In March, the University of Detroit Titans’ Ray McCallum Jr. was named was named the Horizon League Player of the Year after leading the Horizon League in scoring, with 18.7 points per game and guiding the Detroit Titans to a spot at in the 2013 National Invitation Tournament.
But in actual fact McCallum could have headed to a much bigger school, when he left high school three years ago, as he was heavily recruited by the likes of Florida, Kansas and Arizona. He still choose, Detroit though, not because of its’ program, but because he wanted to continue to be coached by his Dad, who has guided his basketball career since he was a toddler.
Whether or not Ray Jr. decides to skip his senior year and declare for the NBA draft this year remains to be seen, but this close father and son seem to have the makings of another successful basketball father son coaching story.