‘What would 32 do?’ Memory of Reggie Chaney provides inspiration for Houston Cougars

Both coach Kelvin Sampson and guard Jamal Shead talked about the patch players are wearing to honor their late teammate.

HOUSTON — The Houston Cougars have some extra inspiration in their NCAA tournament run and they talked about it after their overtime thriller over Texas A&M Sunday night.

The team is paying tribute to Reggie Chaney, the former Cougars player who died last August. Houston players are wearing No. 32 on their jerseys in his honor and they used his memory as motivation to get past a tough opponent in the Aggies.

RELATED: Houston holds off Texas A&M in overtime thriller to advance to the Sweet 16

Cheney was part of the Houston team that got to the Final Four in 2021.

“That was for big Reg,” Sampson said after the game.

The Aggies hung tough with Houston throughout the first half in their Memphis matchup. The Cougars had a five-point halftime lead and UH guard Jamal Shead said the question from Coach Sampson during intermission was simple.

“When he asked, ‘What would Reggie (Chaney) do?’ Reggie would fight.” Jamal Shead mentions how Kelvin Sampson mentioned the late Reggie Chaney during his halftime speech tonight during A&M game. “We have 32 on our jersey for a reason.” Houston Cougar Men’s Hoops beats A&M, 100-95 in overtime.

Posted by Jason Bristol KHOU on Sunday, March 24, 2024

“Coach at halftime was talking about, it’s going to be a war. It’s going to hurt,” Shead said. “What would 32 do?”

Chaney died on August 21. He was found unresponsive in a bedroom at a home in Arlington. Paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene.

An autopsy report showed Chaney died from fentanyl toxicity and ruled his death accidental.

RELATED: Autopsy shows former Houston basketball player Reggie Chaney died from ‘fentanyl toxicity’

An agency that represents basketball players reported that Chaney was getting ready to go to Greece to play his rookie season for Psychiko B.C.

Chaney, a forward, played two seasons for the Arkansas Razorbacks before transferring to UH, where he played three more seasons, including the Cougars’ 2021 Final Four run. He played in 104 games for Houston.

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