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“Fabulous 5 Night” coming up this Friday

Photo courtesy www.hawaiiathletics.com

It has been almost 50 years since the “Fabulous Five” teams of University of Hawai’i basketball lore took the state on a two-year thrill ride and put the Rainbow Warriors on the national hoops map.

They are still being celebrated. The lasting impression of the Fabulous Five teams of 1970-71 and 1971-72 is undeniable, and the next public commemoration of them is set for this Friday, November 29, when the current Rainbow Warriors host San Francisco at the Stan Sheriff Center.

It is part of a season-long celebration and recognition of the past because this is the 100th season of men’s basketball at UH-Manoa.

Friday’s game is scheduled to start around 7:30 p.m., and will be part of a basketball doubleheader with the UH women’s team.  The Rainbow Wahine will host North Texas at 5: 00 p.m. Fans with tickets to the men’s game can arrive early and attend both games.

The Fabulous Five players – Al Davis, Jerome Freeman, Dwight Holiday, Bob Nash and John Penebacker – and some of their teammates will be acknowledged during the game. Some of the players will remain in the arena after the game for an autograph session with the fans. Past players scheduled to attend Friday’s autograph session include Freeman, Holiday, Nash, Penebacker, Dennis Sallas, Jim Wienstroer and Artie Wilson.

As a refresher for those old enough to remember the Fabulous Five era, and a primer for those too young, here are some of the accomplishments that occurred from 1970-72.

● The 1970-71 team finished with a 23-5 record and became the first UH team to participate in the postseason, advancing to the second round of the NIT.

● The 1971-72 team had a 24-2 record after the regular season, and earned UH’s first bid to the NCAA Tournament (which had only 25 teams in the field back then). Hawai’i lost in the first round to Weber State, and finished with a 24-3 record. The .889 winning percentage for that team remains the highest mark by a UH team against collegiate competition.

● The two-year record of 47-8 is the best winning percentage (.855) for any back-to-back years in UH basketball history. In the two seasons prior to the arrival of the Fabulous Five, UH had a combined record of 14-36.

● The 1971-72 team was ranked in the Associated Press Top 20 Poll for 11 consecutive weeks, ranking as high as No. 12. That remains the highest-ranking ever given to a Hawai’i team in a national poll.

● The team played 38 home games at the Honolulu International Center during those two seasons, finishing with a 37-1 record. The only loss was by one point, 67-66, against Centenary in the 1970-71 home finale.

● 28 of the team’s 38 home games were sellouts during those two seasons, including  all 19 home games during the 1971-72 season. Hawai’i went 19-0 at home during the 1971-72 season.

● The 1971- 72 team averaged 91.7 points per game, which is still a school record. The 1970-71 team averaged 90.3 points per game. No other UH teams since then have come close to those scoring marks.

● Each of the Fabulous Five starters during those two years averaged double-figure points. Upon reflection, the individual statistics are mind-boggling when considering that they were all on the court at the same time for two full seasons.

● Al Davis, 6-7 forward: 17.1 points per game, 9.9 rebounds per game.

● Jerome Freeman, 5-9 point guard: 15.3 points, 5.3 assists, 4.4 rebounds per game.

● Dwight Holiday, 6-4 guard: 14.6 points, 3.9 rebounds per game.

● Bob Nash, 6-8 forward/center: 16.8 points, 13.6 rebounds per game. His UH records for rebounds in a game (30 against Arizona State in 1971) and season (361 in 1971-72) still stand.

● John Penebacker, 6-2 forward/center: 14.5 points, 8.2 rebounds per game.

CLICK HERE to read a 2009 article on the Fabulous Five

HAWAI’I (4-2) vs. SAN FRANCISCO (7-0)
When: Friday, Nov. 29, 7:30 p.m. HT
Where: Stan Sheriff Center (10,300) – Honolulu, HI
Television: Live on Spectrum Sports – Channels 16 (SD) and 1016 (HD).
Streaming Video: BigWest.TV (Must be a Spectrum cable subscriber to stream in Hawai’i).
Radio: Live on ESPN Honolulu (1420 AM/92.7 FM), KRKH (Maui), KPUA (Hawai’i Island), and KTOH (Kaua’i).
Audio Webcast: ESPNHonolulu.com/Sideline Hawai’i App.
Live Stats: HawaiiAthletics.com
Ticket Information: Lower level – $32; Upper level (prices vary by section) – $22 or $18 for adults, $18 or $15 for senior citizens, $8 or $5 for students. Free for UH Manoa students with ID. UH Manoa students free with validated ID. Men’s ticket also good for the UH women’s game beginning at 5:00. Parking is $7.
Fabulous 5 Night: Players from the 1970-72 UH basketball teams will be honored during the game, and will sign autographs after the game.

3 Comments

  1. Wow, 90+ points per game in an era where the 3-point line didn’t exist. Now that’s impressive! Hope for a strong showing against USF in commemoration of the Fab-5!!!

  2. Those were the days! I remember at school all the kids trying to go around the back with the ball for layups and yelling Freeman! Freeman!

    Hey warriorlifer that was a era where defense didn’t exist either. LOL. It was true run and gun in the 70s all the way up to NBA and ABA. Remember that?

  3. @ChuckCheese this era was longgggg before I was born haha. I was too young to even remember the AC Carter, Carl English, Predrag Savovic era. Which makes the 2015-2016 season that much more memorable for a fan like myself. Really the first time I’ve seen that level of success out of UH.

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