This CBS At The Half program for halftime of Game 2 of the 1986 NBA Finals features a great interview between Brent Musburger and Magic Johnson….which then shifts to a personal profile of Akeem “TheDream” Olajuwon….the then future Hall of Fame center of the Houston Rockets…. which focused a great deal on early in his basketball career and how he got from Latos, Nigeria to Houston, Texas to play for Coach Guy V. Lewis and the Houston Cougars….where The Dream led the Cougars to three final fours in his three years at UH….but of greater significance was the group he headed up at Houston called “Phi Slamma Jamma”.
The Phi Slama Jama Cougars actually advanced to the NCAA Final Four each year from 1982 to 1984….as underclassmen in 1981–82….a young Cougar team lost to the eventual champion North Carolina Tar Heels in the national semifinals…..then the 1982–83 season marked the high point of Phi Slama Jama…. when the Cougars posted an Associated Press #1 ranking with a 31–2 record and a 26-game winning streak before losing in the NCAA Finals….which is considered one of the most unlikely upsets in NCAA tournament history….as Phi Slama Jama lost a closely contested championship game against the North Carolina State Wolfpack by a score of 54–52….when ironically, the final margin was decided on a last-second dunk by Wolfpack forward Lorenzo Charles….on an air-ball final shot from NCSt guard Charles Wittingham
Despite the early departure of Drexler after the 1982–83 season, Phi Slama Jama continued their success in 1984….as Akeem Olajuwon became the focal point of the team and was selected as a consensus first team All-American….when shooting guard Michael Young was also selected to the All-America team and led the Cougars in scoring for the second consecutive year. The Cougars returned to the Final Four once more….this time losing to the Patrick Ewings’ Georgetown Hoyas in the final….after which The Dream, with one year of eligibility remaining, declared for the NBA draft shortly after the loss in the title game. He was selected first overall by the Houston Rockets in a draft class that included Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley and John Stockton. Michael Young was also selected in the first round, chosen 24th by the Boston Celtics. The departures of Olajuwon and Young after the 1984 NCAA Final, in addition to the loss of Drexler and Larry Micheaux the previous year, brought the Phi Slama Jama era at UH to a close….an era that showcased the greatest collection of highlight slam dunks that the college game has ever seen….and probably will ever see again….and Bone Daddy got to see many of the UH games on satellite during the Phi Slamma Jamma era….with the greatest show on the hard courts….featuring Akeem “The Dream” Olajuwon, Benny “Bomber from Bernice” Anders, Clyde “The Glide” Drexler, Larry “Mr. Mean” Micheaux and Michael “The Silent Assassin” Young.