In tragic news, former Oklahoma Sooners men’s basketball assistant Lew Hill passed away on Sunday at the age of 55. Before spending the past five seasons at Texas Rio Grande Velley, he helped Lon Kruger lead OU to a Final Four appearance in the 2015-16 season.
The Sooner Basketball Family mourns the sudden and tragic loss of former assistant coach Lew Hill, who passed away today at the age of 55.— Oklahoma Basketball (@OU_MBBall) February 8, 2021
Coach Hill was an integral part of our staff for five seasons, including OU's run to the 2016 Final Four. pic.twitter.com/TS3GX6eawd
Former OU head coach Kelvin Sampson shared his thoughts on the sad news of Hill’s passing:
I am so saddened for hear about my good friend Lew Hill. Good man, good coach. So passionate about helping kids reach their dreams pic.twitter.com/TgLVPGtFh3— Coach Kelvin Sampson (@CoachSampsonUH) February 7, 2021
Buddy Hield earned the Naismith and the Wooden Award as well as All-American honors in his final season at OU that coincided with Hill’s last year in Norman. The Sacramento Kings guard was also struck deep by this extremely unfortunate news:
My Prayers and condolences goes out the Hill Family. I will always cherish moments we had together. May your Soul Rest in Peace @LHillMBB_UTRGV love you man— Buddy Love !!!! (@buddyhield) February 8, 2021
Hill’s passing was both sudden and quite unexpected considering he had most recently coached the Vaqueros on Saturday night in a 77-75 loss to Texas Southern. Details for his cause of death has not yet been disclosed by UTRGV.
The Tulsa World’s Guerin Emig recently caught up with Kruger to discuss the loss of a friend and colleague with Hill’s passing.
I talked with Lon Kruger about Lew Hill's passing. That helped process such a sudden loss. So did writing about Lew and his impact on OU basketball. https://t.co/IpNiI5Sl4a— Guerin Emig (@GuerinEmig) February 8, 2021
The late Hill is survived by his wife and their two children, as well as three more daughters from a former relationship.
Now onto this week’s Monday edition of Hot Links. One of the nation’s top running backs pledges for Oklahoma, OU Hoops drops out of the AP’s top 10, D-Rose and Coach Thibs are back together again and more.
- In case you missed it over the weekend, 2022 five-star RB Raleek Brown out of Santa Ana, California announced his verbal commitment to Oklahoma on Friday night. The elite back currently plays for Mater Dei — a high school football powerhouse in the Golden State — and chose the Sooners over offers from Alabama, Georgia, Texas and others.
- After going 1-1 last week against Texas Tech and Iowa State, respectively, OU Hoops dropped three spots from ninth to No. 12 in this week’s AP Top 25 Poll.
- The Norman Transcript’s Joe Buettner recently took a closer look at how Oklahoma managed to land Penn State transfer QB Micah Bowens as well as what this means for the position group going forward.
- Over the weekend, SI Sooners’ John Hoover looked into how Arizona transfer OL Robert Congel will fit into OU’s offensive line equation in the future. The talented big man is a natural center, but he could also factor in at either guard spot.
- Former Sooners forward Kristian Doolittle has been picked up by the Canton Charge — the Cleveland Cavaliers’ G-League affiliate team. Congrats, Doo!
Around the Sports World
- Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis may be sidelined for his team’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday while dealing with Achilles tendinosis.
- The New York Knicks have officially acquired veteran guard Derrick Rose in a trade from the Detroit Pistons. This move reunites the former NBA MVP with his former Chicago Bulls head coach, Tom Thibodeau.
- Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott has reportedly underwent a second surgery to clean up the severe ankle injury he suffered in October that ultimately ended his 2020 season. Additionally, a potential long-term contract between he and the team still appears to be a work in progress.
- Minnesota Vikings QB coach Klint Kubiak has reportedly been promoted to the team’s offensive coordinator, effectively replacing his father, Gary, who retired from the NFL last month.
- On Sunday, veteran MLB reporter Pedro Gomez passed away unexpectedly at the age of 58. He is survived by his wife and three children.
We are shocked and saddened by the passing of national baseball reporter Pedro Gomez. He was 58. pic.twitter.com/FVlcocprIh— MLB (@MLB) February 8, 2021
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