Arizona basketball legend Bob Elliott was among 63 alumni of Pioneer High School in Ann Arbor, Mich., who were honored Friday in a first-ever Hall of Honor induction ceremony.
The honorees represent almost 150 years of Pioneer graduates, and they were chosen through a vetting process that included strict guidelines and approval by at least 75 percent of a committee made up of school staff, students and other alumni.
Elliott, a Class of 1973 graduate from Pioneer who owns an accounting firm in Tucson, was one of the honorees who attended the event along with Jack Harbaugh, father of honoree coach John Harbaugh, Class of 1980, and Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh; and Howdy Holmes, a former IndyCar driver and CEO of Chelsea Milling Co., Class of 1966.
Legendary singer Bob Seger was also honored but did not attend the event at Pioneer.
Elliott met his wife Beverely when they both attended Pioneer. In a Facebook post this weekend on her page, Elliott wrote: “The best part of Pioneer High was getting the courage to ask you out for a date on October 20, 1972!”
The Hall of Honor induction ceremony was Friday morning in Pioneer’s Schreiber Auditorium during a school-wide assembly. Following the ceremony, students attended break-out sessions where they talked to Elliott and other honorees in attendance.
Honorees have plaques with their images and brief descriptions of their accomplishments displayed on the outside wall of Schreiber Auditorium.
Elliott, who was recruited to Arizona in 1973 by the late Fred Snowden, was inducted into the Pac-12’s Hall of Honor in March during the conference tournament in Las Vegas.
At that time, Elliott discussed with me his desire to have his jersey at Arizona (No. 55) retired at McKale Center along with Sean Elliott (no relation), Steve Kerr, Mike Bibby, Jason Gardner, Jason Terry and Miles Simon.
“Big Bird” — as Elliott was affectionately called during his Arizona playing days from 1973-77 because of his 6’10” height — was a 1977 third team All American and three-time Academic All-American from 1975-77.
His greatest distinguishable honor, which nobody will likely ever achieve again at Arizona — He is a member of the elite 2,000-point and 1,000-rebound club in his collegiate career. He is only one of 111 college players in the history of the sport to eclipse 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in a career. He finished with 2,131 points and 1,083 rebounds.
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.