MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The University of Memphis is honoring one of its own stars Thursday morning.
A dedication ceremony for Larry Finch Plaza is being held at 11:00 a.m. at the University of Memphis Park Avenue Campus.
From 1970 to 1973, Finch scored a then-record of 1,869 points for the Tigers, and was the school’s first basketball All American. Finch led the Tigers to the 1973 NCAA title game before the team lost to the UCLA Bruins. The Tigers retired his No. 21 jersey.
Drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers in 1973, Finch instead signed instead with the Memphis Tams with the American Basketball Association. He played professionally with the Tams, which later became the Memphis Sounds, then the Baltimore Hustlers and the Baltimore Claws.
Finch loved the Tigers, and came back to serve as the head coach from 1986 to 1997, with a 220-130 record. He took the Tigers to the NCAA tournament six times, including a run to the final eight in 1992.
“He IS the native son,” said current Tiger coach Penny Hardaway in 2019. “He’s the one who got guys like myself to want to come to the school because he was from Memphis, from Orange Mound. From a player to an assistant to a head coach, this was his whole life.”
Finch suffered a stroke in 2002 at age 51, and he died in 2011 after being hospitalized the year before with pneumonia.
ESPN & the University of memphis contributed to this report.