Relive the Final Four that birthed UH's 'Phi Slama Jama' run

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Friday, April 2, 2021
Relive the 1st of 3 UH 'Phi Slama Jama' Final Fours
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What was it like when UH went to the Final Four in 1982? Hit play to hear five reports from Eyewitness Sports' Leslie Hill as she followed the team in New Orleans.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- On the eve of the University of Houston men's basketball team competing against Baylor University in the Final Four, we wanted to take a look back at one of the Coogs' early outings in the NCAA semifinal.

In the video player above, Eyewitness Sports' Leslie Hill follows the team to New Orleans, when they went to the Final Four in 1982.

That team featured Clyde Drexler and Hakeem Olajuwon, a freshman at the time.

Speaking of Olajuwon, another video from the ABC13 archives features an interview with UH Hall of Fame coach Guy V. Lewis and Hakeem, known as Akeem at the time, at the Southwest Conference tournament in 1982 before the squad made the run to the Final Four that year.

But Olajuwon hadn't even seen his first basketball game until 1979, he explained in the footage below.

Before we knew him as Hakeem 'the Dream' Olajuwon, he was Akeem, and he hadn't seen his first basketball game until 1979. Listen to this rare interview with Olajuwon and famed UH Hall of Fame coach Guy V. Lewis.

In the Phi Slama Jama days of the early '80s, the Coogs made three straight Final Four appearances from 1982-84. Twice, the team advanced to the National Championship game.

Now Houston has another shot at trying to bring home a title.

But first, the Coogs will have to get past the formidable Baylor Bears this weekend.

Their Texas showdown is set for 4:14 p.m. Saturday at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

Texas showdown: University of Houston and Baylor set to battle in Final Four

The Cougars and the Bears are making history. Here's what to know about the all-Texas battle set for this weekend.