MILWAUKEE - The doors of The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame are going to swing open later this year for a former Bucks coach, who has always felt a personal connection to the namesake of the shrine.
As a part of FOX6's Hall of Fame Week, Tim Van Vooren goes Beyond the Game with Del Harris.
Tim Van Vooren: "Well first off, folks are going to see this, they're going to say, "That's Del Harris, I'd know him anywhere." How are you feeling, how are you doing?"
Del Harris: "Well, it's all about the hair, you know. It looks like you're going to be able to keep yours, too. We're doing well. We've been here in Frisco, Texas, now for 22 years. I have touched on eight decades with being involved with coaching. I started junior high coaching in 1959 when I graduated from college. I had such a life-changing year for those kids in the hills of Tennessee and for myself, that I decided well maybe I should do the basketball. And here we are in 2022, and you can count them up, fifties, sixties, seventies, eighties, nineties, aughts, teens, here we are. I have been blessed beyond any measure that I ever could have dreamed of."
TVV: "We could sit here and talk for two hours Del and that's not fair to do, but how do you look at your Milwaukee years as they fit into all those decades of basketball?"
Harris: "Well, they were absolutely among the best and I loved all my players, my Rockets, my Bucks and my Lakers, but the Bucks were very special. It was the smartest team that I ever had. At the Hall of Fame thing, Sidney is going to stand with me. I would have been glad to have any number of Bucks do that. Really good people, and we competed."
"I will say this, that I started out to be a preacher, but I think my decision to coach was the right one. I think that's what I was meant to do."
TVV: "This Hall of Fame thing, what does that mean to you?"
Harris: "Well, it means a great deal but for different reasons. James Naismith invented the game of basketball. He's a guy who started out to be a preacher. This is what he did. He invented the game of basketball, and he said that he regarded it to be a gift from God. So to stand up there, at the Naismith Hall of Fame, is the fulfillment of the basketball end of things for me. Special because of the name Naismith. What he did and who he was."
Harris is still involved in professional basketball as the Vice President of the Texas Stars, a team in the NBA G League.
He is 85 years old, and he will celebrate his induction into the hall in September.
On Wednesday, Tim Van Vooren continues to catch up Wisconsinites who are on the verge of the ultimate recognition in their sport when he catches up with NASCAR champion Matt Kenseth.