Hometown: Schenectady, NY (Linton High)
Position: F Playing Height: 6-4 Playing Weight: 205
Date of Birth: March 20, 1945
Legal Name: Patrick James Riley
Additional Photos: (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) (10) (11) (12) (13) (14) (15) (16)
Game by Game Statistics
Scholastic Coach All-American
Kentucky Career Notes:
Retired Jersey #42
Future NBA Championship Coach
1965-66: All-American [AP (3rd), UPI (3rd), USBWA (1st), Converse (2nd), Helms]; All-NCAA Final Four Team; NCAA Regional Most Outstanding Player; SEC Player of the Year [Associated Press] ; All-SEC [First Team (AP, UPI & Coaches)]
1966-67: All-SEC [First Team (Coaches) Second Team (AP & UPI)]
Post-UK Career Notes:
Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame
State of Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame
University of Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame
Drafted #7 Overall in the 1st Round of the 1967 NBA Draft by San Diego
Professional Basketball Statistics [External Link]
Biography - Riley's Road to the Hall of Fame Began at UK, Louisville Courier-Journal (April 10, 2008) by Rick Bozich
It has not been a coincidence that the three cities where Pat Riley has coached his way into the Basketball Hall of Fame are Los Angeles, New York and Miami.
There's a lot of Rodeo Drive, Madison Avenue and South Beach in the way Riley looks, talks and glides.
But on Monday, the day Riley received the official news that he was joining Dick Vitale, Patrick Ewing and four others in the Hall's Class of 2008, Riley's reflections did not begin in California, New York or Florida. They began in Lexington, Ky. They began with the University of Kentucky. They began at a place where Riley was known for the way he used his elbows more than the way he combed his hair.
"I wish that coach (Adolph) Rupp, Harry Lancaster, Joe B. Hall, Mr. (Bill) Keightley and Louie (Dampier), Larry (Conley), Thad (Jaracz) and Tommy (Kron), God bless him, could be here to share this moment with me because the University of Kentucky was a special time in my life," Riley said.
Indeed it was. Riley arrived at UK in 1963 from Schenectady, N.Y. He credited his basketball development to all 16 of his coaches, starting with his first coach -- his father, Leon, a minor league baseball player.
At UK, Riley said he was assigned to share a room with Dampier, another freshman, from Southport, Ind. Riley had not begun to slick back his hair, but he said when he pulled out his blue-suede shoes and fancy clothes, the more conservative Dampier flinched.
Said Riley: "Louie had to be thinking, 'You've got to be kidding me! I've got to live with this guy the next four years?' "
Four unforgettable years they were. One season on the freshman team. Then Dampier and Riley combined to average 32 points as sophomores when UK (15-10) missed the NCAA Tournament.
That was merely a warm-up. As juniors, Riley and Dampier upgraded their combined average to 43.1 points. A UK team that was unranked before the season won its first 23 games before stumbling against Tennessee.
The Wildcats won their next four, but history, sociology and politics quickly buried that 27-1 record because UK lost the national final to Texas Western 72-65.
You've seen the movie -- "Glory Road" -- or read the books. It was the first time a team that started five black players defeated a team that started five white players in the national final. College basketball and America were changing.
Losing that game has never defined Riley, who turned 63 in March. No way. He fought through a 13-13 season as a senior. Made his way into the pros. Tried announcing. Got his break coaching the Magic Johnson-Kareem Abdul-Jabbar "Showtime" Lakers during the 1981-82 season.
Let the record show Riley won four NBA titles with the Lakers and another with Miami and directed the Knicks to the NBA Finals.
Through it all, Riley remembers what he learned at Kentucky.
"Discipline," he said. "Organization. Being a competitor.
"That's what it was all about -- that if you weren't a competitor, then the game would bring out the very worst in you. And if you're a real competitor, then losing hurts and will make you cry inside some nights, makes you turn everything around.
"That's what Adolph and Harry Lancaster and Joe Hall, all of those men when I was there, taught me, that there was another level of competition."
A level of competition that has carried Pat Riley to the Basketball Hall of Fame.