KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Allan Houston appreciates being honored for his scoring prowess while at Tennessee. It's the memories of the Volunteers' family that he cherishes the most, though.
Tennessee honored its all-time scoring leader on Sunday by retiring his No. 20 and unveiling a banner with his name and number now hanging in the rafters at Thompson-Boling Arena alongside fellow Vols greats Bernard King and Ernie Grunfeld.
"The thing that makes it so special is the way it happened for me, coming here and having an opportunity to play for my father," Houston said. "No matter how many wins or losses or the stats, I believe me being here was so much about me growing and learning how to be a man."
Houston joined his father, coach Wade Houston, at Tennessee and piled up 2,801 career points between 1989-1993. Houston trails only LSU's Pete Maravich on the Southeastern Conference's all-time scoring list, an honor that may never be broken with so many stars opting to leave college early for the NBA now, Houston said.
The Louisville, Ky., native was selected by the Detroit Pistons with the 11th overall pick in the 1993 NBA draft and played 12 seasons in the NBA, the last nine with the New York Knicks.
He still enjoys talking Vols basketball, though he doesn't like recalling his final game as a Vol. Kentucky beat Tennessee 101-40 in the 1993 SEC tournament to end Houston's career.
The Wildcats spoiled Houston's homecoming this time, too, beating Tennessee 64-58 to sweep the season series. It didn't bother Houston too much, though.
"Being from Kentucky, growing up with the magnitude of Kentucky basketball — to have it happen like this is special," he said.
Houston was given a framed jersey at halftime and was joined at center court for the presentation by his father as well as his wife, Tamara, his six children and mother, Alice.
Allan Houston credits watching his father's tenure at Tennessee with preparing him for his current job as the Knicks' assistant general manager. Wade Houston coached Tennessee to a 65-90 record and was fired a season after his son graduated.
"For me, the thrill I get is I can watch and go to the (Knicks') players and go to the coaches and get insight and maybe give insight from a coaching perspective because my dad was a coach."