The Arizona men’s basketball program will wear a uniform patch this season in honor of legendary head coach Lute Olson, who passed away in August at age 85.
“Our team will wear this patch honor coach Olson with a great sense of responsibility,” current head coach Sean Miller said in a statement. “Coach Olson’s leadership led this program to unprecedented excellence, both on and off the court. That success united the Southern Arizona community, Wildcat fans and alumni with our great university in so many wonderful ways.
“Coach Olson also created a basketball family filled with generations of great players, coaches and teams that remains strong today. We hope that our 2020-21 team can continue to bring joy and pride to all those that support us. We will play every game to win, but we also aspire to play an unselfish and hardworking style of basketball that coach Olson would appreciate. We look froward to the challenge of representing his legacy.”
In 24 seasons with the program from 1983-2007, Olson led the Wildcats to 589 wins, 11 Pac-10 regular-season titles, four Pac-10 tournament titles, four Final Four appearances and one national championship. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2002 and the College Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006.
The court at McKale Memorial Center was named in Olson’s honor in 2001, then became “Lute and Bobbi Olson Court” the following year after his wife of 47 years passed away.
The patch, which is black and features Olson’s first name, was supposed to make its on-court debut on Wednesday against Northern Arizona. That game was cancelled due to a positive COVID-19 test within the Lumberjacks’ program, however.
The Wildcats’ next scheduled game is Friday, Nov. 27, against Grambling State. Tipoff is set for 5 p.m. ET on the Pac-12 Network.
Photos courtesy of @APlayersProgram on Twitter.