University of Louisville men’s basketball coach Rick Pitino will receive the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Metropolitan Award for long and outstanding service to men’s college basketball at a ceremony at the Final Four this weekend.

Pitino will receive the award at the annual AT&T NABC Guardians of the Game Awards Show on Sunday, April 5, at 6 p.m. at the Murat Theatre at Old National Centre in Indianapolis.

The Metropolitan Award has a long and storied history, which began in New York City.  The Metropolitan Basketball Association presented its first Metropolitan Award in 1941 to legendary City College of New York coach Nat Holman and followed that a year later with Ned Irish, who first brought college basketball to Madison Square Garden.

Over eight decades, many outstanding coaches and contributors in men’s college basketball have been honored with the award, including Clair Bee, Henry Iba, Pete Newell, John Wooden and Dave Gavitt.

Pitino, like the award, was born in New York and has earned his place as one of the most outstanding coaches in men’s college basketball.

In his 30 seasons as a collegiate head coach, Pitino was the first college coach to win NCAA championships with two different programs (Kentucky in 1995-96 and Louisville in 2012-13) and the first to take three different schools to the Final Four.  His Providence College team reached the Final Four in 1986-87.  He is third among active coaches in NCAA Tournament winning percentage with his 53-18 record (.746) in 20 tournament appearances.

Inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2013, Pitino has an overall record of 722-254 (74%).  In the last 14 seasons at Louisville, Pitino’s Cardinals have a 368-126 record, have reached the NCAA tournament 12 times, moving on to the Final Four three times and the Elite Eight six times, including five of the last eight years.

Located in Kansas City, Mo., the NABC was founded in 1927 by Phog Allen, the legendary basketball coach at the University of Kansas.  Allen, a student of James Naismith, the inventor of basketball, organized coaches into this collective group to serve as Guardians of the Game.  The NABC currently has nearly 5,000 members consisting primarily of university and college men’s basketball coaches.

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