Hawaii men’s basketball: Bob Nash to have jersey retired

Bob Nash will become the first Rainbow Warriors player to have his jersey formally retired. / Star-Advertiser file

It’s about time.

Hawaii hoops legend Bob Nash will become the first Rainbow Warriors player to have his jersey formally retired, the school announced on Friday.

Nash represented dependability as a person and as a player for the program spanning decades.

UH will conduct the ceremony on Feb. 15 against UC Irvine.

It will be part of UH’s 100th season initiative in 2019-20. Special themes for the Fabulous Five — of which Nash was a prominent member — and the 100th season game were also announced, on Nov. 29 against San Francisco and Jan. 25 against UC Davis, respectively.

Nash, Al Davis, Jerome Freemman, Dwight Holiday and John Penebacker, comprised the Fabulous Five in the 1970-71 and 1971-72 seasons. UH went 23-5 and 24-3 in those two seasons.

Nash was drafted ninth overall in the 1972 NBA Draft after helping UH to its first NCAA Tournament appearance. His 30-rebound game against Arizona State on Dec. 30, 1971 in the Rainbow Classic still stands as the program record. As a senior, he averaged 18.2 points and 14.4 rebounds per game.

After his playing days were done he latched back on with the program as an assistant for 26 years, known for stirring the home crowd up with some towel waving from the bench. Then, in 2007, he was hired as the 18th coach in program history. He coached in Manoa for three years (his first head-coaching job) before going overseas and enjoying successful stints in Japan.

Nash was individually inducted into the UH Sports Circle of Honor this year. The Fabulous Five was previously inducted.

Nash recently attended the UH season Tip-Off event along with his old boss, Riley Wallace.

The only basketball player, men’s or women’s, to have their jersey retired by UH to date is Wahine great Judy Mosley. Her jersey was retired in 2015 and the suspended plaque often swings side to side from air currents next to the Wahine basketball NCAA tournament appearances banner in the Stan Sheriff Center rafters.

In 1989, 17 years removed from their UH playing days, the Fabulous five of Al Davis, Bob Nash, Dwight Holiday, John Penebacker and Jerome Freeman appeared at the Blaisdell Arena. / Star-Advertiser file
Associate head coach Bob Nash whipped the crowd into a frenzy with some towel waving against San Jose State on Feb. 15, 2003. / Star-Advertiser file photo by Richard Walker
Bob Nash in a photographic composite at the Stan Sheriff Center as he took over the head coaching job at UH in 2007. / Star-Adveritser file photos by Richard Walker


  1. Hoosier November 2, 2019 9:43 am

    Nice to see good people recognized with such honor. Terrific player and dedicated UH coach. Congratulations and should be a terrific ceremony. Hope people come out to show some love.

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