FORMER 1ST ROUND NBA PICK, FORMER NBA HEAD COACH, CURRENT player development coach of the Houston Rockets, “John Lucas”, to be inducted into D.C. Sports Hall of Fame

FORMER 1ST ROUND NBA PICK, FORMER NBA HEAD COACH, CURRENT player development coach of the Houston Rockets, “John Lucas”, to be inducted into D.C. Sports Hall of Fame
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John Lucas, born on October 31, 1953 in Durham, North Carolina is a retired American professional basketball player and coach. Lucas attended the University of Maryland (B.A. – Education 1976) where he was an all-America performer in basketball and tennis. Lucas received his M.A. in education from the University of San Francisco.

John Lucas played in the NBA for 14 years from 1976-90. Lucas started his career as the first player taken in the NBA draft by the Houston Rockets.

Lucas played for Houston Rockets, 1976-78; Golden State Warriors, 1978-81; Washington Bullets, 1981-83; San Antonio Spurs, 1983-84;Houston Rockets 1984-86; Milwaukee Bucks, 1987-88; Seattle Supersonics, 1988-89 and Houston Rockets, 1989-90. In 1990 Lucas founded and became President of John Lucas Enterprises, Houston, TX, a network of drug-treatment programs aimed especially at athletes. In 1990 Lucas purchased the Miami Tropics basketball team and served as its head coach until 1992. From 1992-94 Lucas served as the head coach of the San Antonio Spurs. From 1994-96 he was the head coach, Vice president and General Manager for the Philadelphia 76ers. And from 2002-04 was the head coach for the Cleveland Cavaliers. For 3 years prior to accepting the head coaching position for the Cavaliers he was assistant coach for the Denver Nuggets.

John was an assistant coach for the Los Angeles Clippers most recently for the 2009-2010 season.

Currently John Lucas resides in Houston, Texas. He is regarded as one of the world’s best resources for basketball training and development. His camps and clinics have built a reputation for being among the best organized and professional events. Top NBA and collegiate players from across the nation travel to Houston during the off-season to participate in his workouts and training sessions.

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Life’s Work

John Lucas arguably could have been one of the best, if not the best point guard in the history of the NBA, but he found his playing career hampered by his dependencies on drugs and alcohol. Repeatedly suspended by the NBA between 1982 and 1986 for drug abuse, Lucas finally hit the bottom while in Houston. In 1986 as he signed a contract to play for the Milwaukee Bucks Lucas began the long painful recovery process to restore his reputation and his abilities.

Even before retiring he initiated rehabilitation programs based on his own needs that involved exercise, counseling, etc. Since those days Lucas has dedicated himself to helping other addicts to regain control of their lives. By forming John Lucas Enterprises, heading up the Miami Tropics basketball organization, serving as the head basketball coach for 3 NBA teams, and ultimately creating John Lucas Basketball Resources. He has created an extensive program that supports and helps athletes, at-risk or not, to progress to their athletic potential, achieve sobriety and remain drug free.

Through his own recovery, one day at a time, John has achieved 30 years of sobriety, Lucas has given himself, and others who have experienced similar disappointments and addictions, the chance of a lifetime – the opportunity to prove that someone with a serious drug and alcohol problem can overcome it and achieve greatness again.

As John Lucas says, “What I thought was the worst possible deal in life turned out to be the best gift I’ve been given. My addiction carried me past my sports life. It gave me my best trophy. It gave me John Lucas. It gave me life.”

John Lucas Enterprises is the brainchild of Coach John Lucas, a 36 year student, teacher, professional and advocate for the game of basketball. A former player and coach himself, Coach Lucas understands what it is to be “Elite”. Furthermore, he understands what it takes to achieve that level of play, what it takes to maintain that level of play and what it takes to handle, live with and coach that level of play.

Champions for sobriety and healthy living

Our Mission Statement: To create innovative programs that provide access to educational, recreational and healthy living initiatives designed to positively aid in the development of the total person.

Our Vision: To create and foster programs that introduce healthy living initiatives to the family unit. Through our programs, the foundation will provide substance-abuse awareness, host basketball clinics, as well as create an academic excellence program to assist youth in pursuing their educational endeavors.

Tennis career

Lucas was not only a standout basketball player, but also a standout tennis player. An All-American in the sport while at Maryland, he won ACC number one singles championship twice in 1974 and 1976, before being named the McKelvin Award winner as the conference’s top all-around athlete. Lucas competed in two Grand Prix tennis tournaments in 1973, another in 1979, and a challenger event in 1979. His best result was reaching the semi-finals of the challenger in Raleigh, North Carolina, partnering Fred McNair. He won one other tour match, by default in doubles in 1973 in Merion, Pennsylvania while partnering Vic Seixas. He lost all four of the singles first round matches which he contested, and in straight sets. His best singles result was a 4–6, 4–6 loss to John Austin. Lucas’s career high ranking was 579th, in singles in December 1979. (Doubles computer rankings were not officially kept until the early 1980s.)

Lucas also played World Team Tennis with the San Francisco Golden Gaters in 1976, and the New Orleans Sun Belt Nets in 1978.

In 2005, Lucas was the head coach of the Houston Wranglers, which featured Steffi Graf and Mardy Fish.

Appearances on Leaderboards, Awards, and Honors

1976-77 All-Rookie (1st)
Amateur Honors
Career NBA 6454 (28th)
Career 6454 (28th)
Assists Per Game
Career NBA 7.0 (29th)
Career 7.0 (29th)
Career NBA 1273 (78th)
Career 1273 (83rd)
Steals Per Game
3-Pt Field Goal Pct
3-Pt Field Goals
3-Pt Field Goal Attempts
1978-79 NBA 82 (1st)
Minutes Played
Minutes Per Game
1978-79 NBA 37.7 (11th)
Offensive Box Plus/Minus
Assist Pct
1983-84 NBA 45.1 (1st)
Career NBA 33.6 (44th)
Career 33.6 (44th)
Steal Pct
1977-78 NBA 2.6 (20th)
Career NBA 2.4 (90th)
1983-84 NBA 1 (5th)

John Harding Lucas Jr. ▪ Twitter: JLEnterprises

(Luke, Tweety Bird)

Position: Point Guard and Shooting Guard ▪ Shoots: Left

6-3, 175lb (190cm, 79kg)

Born: October 31, 1953 (Age: 67-308d) in Durham, North Carolina us

Relatives: Son John Lucas III

College: Maryland

High School: Hillside in Durham, North Carolina

Draft: Houston Rockets, 1st round (1st pick, 1st overall), 1976 NBA Draft

NBA Debut: October 21, 1976

Career Length: 14 years

15 4 5 15 5 10 20
















John Lucas II
John Lucas II.jpg
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Houston Rockets
Position Assistant head coach
League NBA
Personal information
Born October 31, 1953 (age 67)
Durham, North Carolina
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Listed weight 175 lb (79 kg)
Career information
High school Hillside (Durham, North Carolina)
College Maryland (1972–1976)
NBA draft 1976 / Round: 1 / Pick: 1st overall
Selected by the Houston Rockets
Playing career 1976–1990
Position Point guard
Number 15, 4, 5, 10, 20
Coaching career 1992–present
Career history
As player:
19761978 Houston Rockets
19781981 Golden State Warriors
19811983 Washington Bullets
1983 Lancaster Lightning
1983–1984 San Antonio Spurs
19841986 Houston Rockets
19861988 Milwaukee Bucks
1988–1989 Seattle SuperSonics
1989–1990 Houston Rockets
As coach:
1992 Miami Tropics
19921994 San Antonio Spurs
19941996 Philadelphia 76ers
19982001 Denver Nuggets (assistant)
20012003 Cleveland Cavaliers
2009–2010 Los Angeles Clippers (assistant)
2016–present Houston Rockets (player development)
Career highlights and awards
As player:

As coach:

Career NBA statistics
Points 9,951 (10.7 ppg)
Assists 6,454 (7.0 apg)
Steals 1,273 (1.4 spg)
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United States
Men’s basketball
FIBA World Championship
Bronze medal – third place
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1974 Puerto Rico Team competition


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