HONOLULU – The University of Hawai‘i Athletics Department is pleased to announce the newest inductees into the UH Sports Circle of Honor. The Class of 2016 includes legendary men’s basketball coach Robert “Riley” Wallace, the basketball program’s all-time single-game scoring leader Anthony “Tony” Davis, and the voice of the Rainbows for more than four decades Jim Leahey.
This year’s inductees will be officially enshrined as the Circle’s 34th class during halftime of the February 25 men’s basketball game at the Stan Sheriff Center.
Wallace is the 22nd head coach and fourth men’s basketball coach to be inducted while Davis is the 11th men’s basketball player enshrined. Jim Leahey joins his father Chuck Leahey (1985) into the Circle, which now includes four play-by-play announcers.
The Circle of Honor started in 1982 to recognize individuals and teams who have contributed to the growth, history and tradition of UH Athletics. The total number of inductees in the Circle of Honor is 112 individuals and 10 teams, including this year’s honorees. Plaques honoring the individuals and teams are anchored on the inner walls surrounding the main concourse of the Stan Sheriff Center.
Brief biographies of the Circle of Honor Class of 2016 inductees are listed below:
For 20 seasons, Riley Wallace led the Hawai‘i men’s basketball team, becoming the program’s all-time winningest coach with a record of 334-265. His teams made nine of the program’s first 12 postseason appearances. They included a program-record four straight from 2001-04, three trips to the NCAA Tournament (1994, 2001, ’02), and six appearances in the National Invitation Tournament, twice to the quarterfinal round (1990, ’97). His 1993-94 team was the first UH squad to compete in the NCAA Tournament since 1972. Meanwhile he guided the 1997-98 team to the biggest upset in school history with a win over No. 2 Kansas.
He was a three-time conference coach of the year (1989, ’97, 2002) and the 2001 NABC District 13 coach of the year. His teams won three conference tournament championships (1994, 2001, ’02) and were regular-season champions twice (1997, 2002).
He coached three All-Americans – Anthony Harris (Basketball Weekly, 1996), Anthony Carter (Associated Press, 1997, ’98) and Predrag Savovic (Associated Press 2002), three academic All-Americans – Savovic (2002), Carl English (2003) and Michael Kuebler (2004), and the program’s all-time leading scorer Chris Gaines.
During his 20 seasons, there were 25 academic all-WAC certificates, 11 all-WAC tournament selections, three WAC tournament MVPs – Trevor Ruffin (1994), English (2001), Savovic (2002), and one WAC Player of the Year – Carter (1997).
An assistant coach at UH from 1978-84, he took over the program in 1987 and was a vocal proponent for a 10,000-seat, on-campus arena built in 1994, which his teams sold out 21 times in the Special Events Arena/Stan Sheriff Center.
Nicknamed “Bones,” Anthony “Tony” Davis set the program’s single-game scoring record with 45 point against Los Angeles State College on Feb. 6, 1959 in the Rainbows’ first 100-point game, a 116-107 victory. As Dr. Al Saake’s first African-American scholarship player, he led the Rainbows in scoring in his first season (540 points) and was second during an injury-plagued senior season (385) when he served as team captain.
At 6-foot, 10 inches, he played key roles in wins over USC, UC Santa Barbara, Oregon State and Santa Clara as the program moved towards an all-intercollegiate schedule. He was the program’s first NBA draftee, selected by the New York Knicks in the ninth round of the 1960 draft.
A native of Illinois, Davis was a high school All-American before finding his way to Manoa. After graduating from UH in 1960, he spent a few years playing for the Harlem Clowns and the Harlem Travelers before briefly working in Hollywood, earning a part in the film “Watusi.” He played two years of professional basketball in France and Luxembourg before settling in San Francisco, where he remains active in basketball, having won 25 gold medals and a bronze in the Senior National Games.
Jim Leahey has been “The Voice” of UH Athletics for over 40 years, broadcasting thousands of home and away contests in football, basketball, baseball, volleyball, softball, soccer, swimming and water polo on both radio and television.
The 1970 UH graduate (M.A. Ed) became “The TV Voice” of Rainbow Warrior and Rainbow Wahine teams in 1984, working for KGMB, and later KFVE and OCSports. He will return to the radio booth for the 2017 Rainbow baseball season for KKEA.
At the age of 15 and a sophomore at Saint Louis School, he made his broadcast debut after his father, Chuck, also a UH Sports Circle of Honor inductee (1985), came down with a lung infection prior to the broadcast of the all-service boxing card from Conroy Bowl at Schofield Barracks. He began his decades-long involvement with UH as the P.A. announcer for the inaugural Rainbow Classic in 1964. He often joined Chuck in the radio booth as a color analyst for KGU then took over play-by-play duties in 1973, his first football game being Hawai‘i’s win over Fresno State.
In 1979, he joined his father at KITV where he became the Director of Sports Programming. He later moved to KGMB, where he replaced Joe Moore as sports director for 15 years. From there, he went to KFVE and then to OC Sports, where he continues to call UH games.
A graduate of San Francisco (B.A. Ed), he served in the U.S. Navy, before returning to Hawai‘i where he earned his master’s degree at UH and taught for 10 years at Campbell High School.
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