WATCH: Reggie Hannah Starred at UF, Legendary at Titusville Where His Jersey Number Is Retired
By Space Coast Daily // July 6, 2023
SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME
SPACE COAST DAILY TV: Under Titusville coach Kirk Stewart’s guidance, Reggie Hannah would arguably become the greatest basketball player to ever dribble a ball on a Brevard County court, leading the Terriers to two state basketball appearances in the mid-1970s. Hannah started immediately at UF and averaged double-digit points and nearly nine rebounds a game in his first two years. His junior season was even more impressive as he averaged 17 points a game. Hannah was inducted into the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame in 2017.
2017 COLLEGE INDUCTEE
TITUSVILLE HIGH, UF GREAT
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Former Titusville Terrier, Florida Gator and professional basketball great Reggie Hannah’s around-the-world story begins and ends in Titusville.
He grew up without a father in the tough part of Titusville where not having a positive male role model can be a detriment to a young man in search of guidance.
Under Terrier coach Kirk Stewart’s guidance, Hannah would arguably become the greatest basketball player to ever dribble a ball on a Brevard County court, leading the Terriers to two state basketball appearances in the mid-1970s.
Hannah averaged an amazing 24 points per game, once dropping 53 in a contest for the Terriers. But it was his play above the rim that separated him from everyone else.
He is the all-time leading rebounder in Terrier history collecting 1,533 of them, good for nearly 18 boards per contest.
Hannah was recruited by all of the great basketball schools, but being a new father, he decided to stay close to home and attended the University of Florida where he would play for John Lotz.
Hannah started immediately at UF and averaged double-digit points and nearly nine rebounds a game in his first two years. His junior season was even more impressive as he averaged 17 points a game.
After Lotz was fired, Hannah transferred to South Alabama in hopes of playing for a winner and increasing his NBA draft stock.
Following his final year of college basketball, Hannah became the first pick in round four of the NBA draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers. Due to financial constrains on the Cavaliers that precluded Hannah playing in Cleveland, he decided to continue his career in Europe where he was able to realize his dream of playing professional basketball.
He was able to live the dream and according to one story, he played pickup ball with Marvin Gaye, hung out with Tennis player Bjorn Borg and kicked it backstage with Prince at the famous Cafe Opera in Stockholm.
Hannah won titles and awards during his tenure overseas and he also, just as he had done back here in the in the states, won people’s hearts. He was one of the most popular players on the European continent.
Hannah returned home to Titusville but, like many successful athletes in their prime, didn’t prepare for the future without the game. He fell in with the wrong crowd and spent much of his post basketball life battling the legal system and the demons of addiction.
Hannah would eventually find peace and salvation in his life, but not before he overcame his self-described shame, and reached out for help to his life-long best friend, mentor and the closest man he ever had to a father – former Terrier coach Stewart.
He continued to rebuild his life, getting to once again know his “first born,” as he called her, his daughter La Tasha Hannah. Hannah has seven children in all, and while his goal was to get to know them all again, time ran out on him as he passed away of pancreatic cancer in October 2015.
This outstanding athlete’s story of success, failure and redemption is an all too familiar one in the world of sports, but the man that Reggie Hannah was is what separates him.
THE LEGEND: UNFORGETTABLE ON AND OFF THE COURT
Part of the journey to be a Hall of Famer in anything one does is having so many great stories to tell. But rarely does a Hall of Famer come along that has so many great stories told about them.
Hannah touched so many people. Upon his death, a newspaper story about Hannah was written in the Netherlands by a sports columnist that idolized him when he was a kid growing up watching basketball.
A Facebook page was created where more than 500 people have joined to tell their stories about the former round ball legend on the court. His play left you wanting to see him play again and again, off the court, you just wanted to be around him.
His orange and blue casket leaves no doubt Hannah will always by a UF man, the Facebook page allows you an opportunity to know he was a good man and let there be no doubt that Reggie Hannah is one of the greatest basketball players to ever grace the hardwood courts of Brevard County, so congratulations Reggie Hannah on your induction, you are indeed “The Legend.”
CLICK HERE to see all the members of the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame.