Chris Bosh becomes Georgia Tech’s first basketball hall of famer

Former Georgia Tech star Chris Bosh attends a game between Georgia Tech and Clemson Sunday, Jan. 28, 2018, at McCamish Pavilion in Atlanta. (HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM)



Former Georgia Tech star Chris Bosh attends a game between Georgia Tech and Clemson Sunday, Jan. 28, 2018, at McCamish Pavilion in Atlanta. (HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM)

Chris Bosh, who starred for one season at Georgia Tech before achieving greatness in the NBA, received the ultimate accolade for his career Sunday when he was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

“I don’t think you could have a player who epitomizes what it means to be a great team player more than Chris Bosh,” Paul Hewitt, Bosh’s coach at Tech, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Sunday.

Bosh is first former Tech player to earn enshrinement among the game’s all-time greats. At Tech in the 2002-03 season, Bosh was named ACC rookie of the year and second-team All-ACC. Drafted fourth overall in 2003 by Toronto, Bosh was an 11-time NBA All-Star in a 13-year career, was once All-NBA and won an Olympic gold medal in 2008. He won two NBA titles with the Miami Heat.

“Words cannot express my gratitude to everyone who has been on this journey with me,” Bosh wrote on his Twitter account. “Basketball has been one of the greatest gifts allotted to me in this life. This is honor is my legacy. Thank you @hoophall, @nba + every one of you that has supported me throughout my career.”

Hewitt reflected back to the beginnings of Tech’s recruitment of Bosh out of Lincoln High in Dallas. When Hewitt and his staff began following him as a junior, Hewitt said that there were some who didn’t think that Bosh was even the best player on his team.

“I think Chris might have been one of those guys,” Hewitt said. “He was, I don’t want to use the word innocent, but he was so pure in how he approached the game. He was all about winning. Worked hard, very selfless teammate who had just tons and tons of potential.”

Georgia Tech's Chris Bosh (4) celebrates with teammates Anthony McHenry (55) and B.J. Elder (1) after a second-half play, with Maryland's Nik Caner-Medley (22) looking on, Sunday, Feb. 9, 2003, at the Alexander Memorial Coliseum in Atlanta. Georgia Tech won 90-84.  (Photo/Gregory Smith)


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Hewitt said he still teases assistant coach Dean Keener, the first to spot Bosh, for his initial assessment that Bosh was a fit for Tech in that he was a great student with an interest in computers. Keener thought that Bosh could develop into a great player by the time he was a junior. When Hewitt went to go see him, he called Keener and asked if they were scouting the same player.

The reality, Hewitt added, was that Bosh’s improvement from the time he was a junior to the end of his senior season was “absolutely ridiculous.”

With the Heat, his versatility as a big man helped usher in the age of positionless basketball. As Hewitt watched the Heat use the 6-foot-11 Bosh to facilitate the offense out of the high post, he recognized Bosh as transcendent.

With LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, the Heat made four consecutive trips to the NBA Finals (2011-14) and won two championships.

“He’s playing a game that a lot of people haven’t seen,” Hewitt said.

Bosh played his final game in 2016 at the age of 31 before a blood-clot condition ultimately led to his retirement. He now lives in Austin, Texas, with his family and runs his own record company.

“He’s all about the right things on and off the court,” Hewitt said. “But his persona on the court — his unselfishness, his talent, his commitment to the greater good — is how this kid leads his life. You see it now — he’s a great family man, he’s coming out with a book, always trying to improve himself. Very, very happy for him. Well deserved.”