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Join us for the 2024 LUBBOCK ISD ATHLETIC HALL OF HONOR INDUCTION CEREMONY

Saturday, July 27th, 2024

at the Lubbock Memorial Civic Center

6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
For table sponsorship info: Call David Thetford – 806-777-0677
or send an email request to: [email protected]

Craig Ehlo

Class of 2011

Craig Ehlo | 1977-1979 | Monterey High School | Basketball

Craig Ehlo played basketball at Monterey High School from 1977-1979. In 1979, Ehlo was named MHS Most Valuable Player, All-City, 1st team All-Region, and 3rd team All-State. Monterey won the district title during Ehlo’s junior and senior seasons. On December 21st, 1995, his Monterey jersey was retired.

Ehlo found his way to Washington State University in 1981 by way of Odessa Junior College. He was an honorable mention All-America selection as a sophomore at Odessa. Despite leading the Wranglers to a 26-9 record as a freshman, many NCAA Division I schools were skeptical of the wiry 6-foot-6, 180-pound guard. Ehlo was never a player to fill up the stat sheet, but Washington State basketball coach George Raveling liked the way he played, and Ehlo liked what Raveling and WSU had to offer. The 1982-83 WSU team finished the regular season 22-6 with a 14-4 Pac-10 record, just one game behind the conference-champion Bruins. The team gave Cougar fans plenty to cheer about with a perfect 14-0 record at Friel Court. After the regular season, the Cougar faithful were rooting Ehlo and company onto the NCAA Tournament, Raveling’s second appearance as WSU’s head coach. The Cougars drew Weber State in the first round. Ehlo poured in 18 points to give WSU its first postseason win since 1941. In the second round, Ehlo and WSU met Virginia and 7-foot-4 center Ralph Sampson.

The Cougars never backed down to the fourth-ranked Cavaliers, but Ehlo’s 12 points were not enough to overcome Sampson’s 15 point, 12 rebound performance. Little did Ehlo know, it was far from the last time he and Sampson would share the floor. Ehlo, one of four WSU players taken in the 1983 draft, was selected in the third round by the Houston Rockets. Earlier, the Rockets made Sampson the first overall pick. Ehlo was later inducted into the Washington State University Hall of Fame.

Teaming with the next season’s No. 1 overall pick, Hakeem Olajuwon, Sampson and Ehlo made it to the playoffs in 1985, and met the Boston Celtics in the 1986 NBA Finals. After the 1986 season, Ehlo signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers, where he made his mark on the NBA. The Cavaliers made the playoffs in five of Ehlo’s seven seasons in Cleveland, including three seasons with more than 50 wins and one trip to the conference finals.

Ehlo rounded out his 14-year NBA career with a three-year stop in Atlanta and a homecoming of sorts playing his final season in Seattle. Ehlo finished with career averages of 8.6 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.8 assists. He posted career-highs in all categories in the 1989-90 season as a Cavalier when he averaged 13.6 points per game in 81 games.

On May 7, 1989 Ehlo, then a Cavalier, was defending Jordan when the Chicago Bull made “The Shot”, the legendary series-clinching jumper in the first round of the NBA Playoffs in front of a Cleveland home crowd. However, as Ehlo was victimized by Jordan, he is also noted as the “Utah Jazz Killer” as he hit buzzer beater shots in victories over the Jazz in regular season games.

During the 2004-05 and 2005-06 seasons, Ehlo assisted play-by-play announcer Kevin Calabro as the color commentator for the Seattle SuperSonics.
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