Clyde Austin Drexler (June 22, 1962-) played only his senior in high school, but developed quickly at the University of Houston becoming the only player in the school’s history to achieve combined totals of 1,000 career points, 900 total rebounds and 300 assists in three seasons with the Cougars. Drexler played small forward and guard for Houston and was a key member of “Phi Slama Jama” with Michael Young and Larry Micheaux as well as fellow Hall of Famer Hakeem Olajuwon. The Portland Trailblazers took Drexler as the 14th pick of the 1983 NBA Draft where he played from 1983-1995 before moving to his hometown Houston Rockets (1985-1998). Called Clyde “The Glide” for his smooth and seemingly effortless playing style, and his incredible athletic and scoring ability. Considered not a great scorer early on as a professional, Clyde worked tirelessly to become a premier shooter and closer as his career went on. The Blazers made unsuccessful runs at the NBA title in 1990 and 1992 facing the Chicago Bulls and Detroit Pistons, respectively in the NBA Finals. In 1992, he was named to the Barcelona Olympic “Dream Team” that captured the gold medal and finished second in MVP voting for the regular season to Michael Jordan.
In 1995, as Drexler’s career was winding down, Clyde requested a trade to a contender after the Trailblazers were essentially a long shot for the playoffs and was moved to the defending NBA champion Houston Rockets. In Houston, Drexler again teamed with “Phi Slama Jama” partner Hakeem Olajuwon to take a second straight NBA title from the young and potent Orlando Magic. In 1996, Drexler was named to the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History list. Clyde was a ten-time All-Star selection and one-time All-NBA First Team player. Following the 1997-98 season, Drexler retired from playing with 22,195 points, 6,125 assists, 8,335 field goals, 6,677 total rebounds and 2,207 steals. He is one of three players to accumulate career totals of at least 20,000 points, 6,000 total rebounds and 6,000 assists. Clyde Drexler was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2004. After retiring from the Rockets, Clyde remained in his hometown Houston to guide the University of Houston basketball team as head coach from 1988-2000 compiling a 19-37 record.