Arizona unveils statue of legendary coach Lute Olson

Arizona unveiled a statue of Hall of Fame basketball coach Lute Olson on Thursday, carrying the 1997 national championship trophy under one arm and waving to the crowd with the other, a smile on his face.

In 24 seasons in Tucson, Olson put Arizona on the map as a basketball powerhouse. He had a record of 589-187 and led the Wildcats to four Final Four appearances, 23 consecutive NCAA tournaments and 11 Pac-10 titles, as well as the national title in 1997.

The statue, located at the university's McKale Center, was designed by Omri Amrany, whose statue of Michael Jordan sits in front of Chicago's United Center. Amrany has also created statues of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Shaquille O'Neal, Magic Johnson, Al McGuire and Gordie Howe.

When Olson's statue was unveiled, the coach -- who still sports a magnificent white mane -- looked it over and pronounced, "They got the hair right."

Among the players Olson coached were Sean Elliott, Steve Kerr, Gilbert Arenas, Miles Simon, Chris Mills, Richard Jefferson, Luke Walton and Andre Iguodala.

Some of his players were on hand for the ceremony, including Damon Stoudamire, who called the event a "priceless moment." Kerr helped fund the project.

Olson, 83, retired in 2008 following a series of medical issues.

"He forever changed the trajectory and perception of our athletics department," Director of Athletics Dave Heeke said in a statement. "His legendary status is worthy of this honor."