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Hall of Fame Paintings



There was no question which moment Opie Otterstad wanted to paint for UH’s Coach Guy V. Lewis.


It was January 1968, and Lewis changed the landscape of college sports when his underdog Cougars, led by Elvin Hayes, upset John Wooden’s undefeated and top-ranked UCLA Bruins 71–69 in front of 52,693 fans in the Houston Astrodome.


This historic moment was dubbed the Game of the Century, putting Lewis’s UH Basketball program on the map and established college sports as a commodity paving the way for NCAA’s March Madness.


“Elvin Hayes and Don Chaney are, of course, the two people holding Coach Lewis up,” said Otterstad. “Those weren’t the people originally who held him up, but we’re taking artistic license to make it a better representation of Coach Lewis.”


Instead of holding up the UH hand sign, Lewis actually held up the number one finger as he was being hoisted around, but “in the interest of matching the Coach Bill Yeoman painting, I decided to do the UH Cougar sign, but I needed a hand model.”


Eventually, Otterstad found the perfect hand model in perfect lighting, holding up the Cougar sign. Coach Guy V. Lewis’s hand was modeled after his late-late successor, Coach Kelvin Sampson.

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