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Rockets to retire Elvin Hayes’ No. 44 jersey

Photo: Vernon Biever / National Basketball Association / Getty Images

The Houston Rockets are set to immortalize hall of famer Elvin Hayes’ contributions to their franchise.

Hayes’ jersey No. 44 is set to be raised up in the rafters of the Toyota Center during the halftime home clash of the Rockets against the visiting Indiana Pacers on Nov. 18.

On the said game, the Rockets will debut their classic jersey which pays tribute on the team’s initial times being in San Diego, wherein Hayes spent the first parts of his career as their No. 1 overall pick in 1968 Draft out of the Houston Cougars.

“We are thrilled to celebrate Elvin Hayes’ stellar career by retiring his jersey,” team governor Tillman Fertitta said in a statement. “Elvin was the original basketball superstar in the city of Houston and has a lasting legacy with not only the NBA and the Rockets, but the University of Houston as well.

“We’re excited to honor Elvin and his family this November and see his jersey hang where it belongs, alongside the other legends from our franchise’s storied history.”

Hayes is the seventh player in Rockets history that will be honored by their respective jersey number, joining Yao Ming, Clyde Drexler, Calvin Murphy, Moses Malone, Rudy Tomjanovich and Hakeem Olajuwon.

Nicknamed as “The Big E,” Hayes cemented his legacy as one of the best power forwards of all time and an undisputed ironman who rarely got injured.

In seven seasons with the Rockets, Hayes had an average 20.6 points, 12.2 boards, 1.9 assists, and 44.5 percent shooting in 572 games.

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