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UNLV players, fans react to Jerry Tarkanian's induction

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UNLV players, fans react to Jerry Tarkanian's induction

By Stacey Gualandi. CREATED Sep 8, 2013

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- With a championship win, an unprecedented record, and his signature towel, former UNLV basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian made history.

Now he's an official Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame inductee.

"Tark the Shark," as he became affectionately known, was honored this weekend in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Former players couldn't have been more proud. UNLV championship player Larry Johnson said, "He was a trooper for his players, we loved him, he loved us and he was super loyal."

At 83, his health has deteriorated and he uses a wheelchair. It has been over 20 years since he took his Runnin' Rebels to four Final Four's and the 1990 National Championship.

UNLV student Travis Taylor thinks, "It was long overdue. That was UNLV's greatest moment in basketball."

Pat Nelson, a friend of the Tarkanian's, said it's about time because he's done so much for the community.

Gov. Brian Sandoval said Sunday this was a well deserved honor, and Sen. Harry Reid thanked Tarkanian for putting UNLV on the map.

News of Tarkanian's induction was a good opportunity for a new generation of UNLV students to learn about his legacy.

UNLV will establish a scholarship fund in his name, and a lifesize bronze statue will find a home on the UNLV campus, complete with Tark's signature towel.