Elvin Hayes: Everything That There Is- Net Worth & Wife

Elvin Ernest Hayes, going by the name of “The Big E, is a famous former American basketball player. He stood out in the 70s and is one of the utmost players at the academic and professional levels.

Likewise, Hayes played a total of 16 seasons in the NBA. Besides, he is also a radio analyst for his alma-mater Houston Cougars.

Moreover, Elvin is an associate of the NBA’s 50th Anniversary All-Time Team and an inductee in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Elvin for Rockets
Elvin for Rockets

Well, most people might be familiar with Elvin only by name but not thoroughly. So, today, let’s dive into the life of Elvin Ernest Hayes and discuss all the information like his early career, family, education, net worth, and so much more.

We will also dig into his social life and issues, if he has any. But for now, let us check quick facts related to the life of Elvin.

Quick facts:

Full NameElvin Ernest Hayes
Date November 17, 1945
Place Of BirthRayville, Louisiana
Nick/Pet NameThe Big E
Ethnic BelongingAfrican-American
Father’s NameChristopher Hayes
Mother’s NameSavannah Hayes
Number Of Siblings6
EducationUniversity of Houston
Zodiac SignScorpio
Age77 Years Old
Height‎6 ft 9 in (206 cm)
Weight‎235 lb (107 kg)
Eye colorBrown
Hair colorBlack
Shoe SizeUnavailable
Body MeasurementUnknown
Marital StatusMarried 
WifeErna Livingston 
ChildrenErica, Erna Elisse, Elvin Hayes Jr.
OccupationRetired professional basketball player
Net worth$6 million
Active Since1968-1984
MerchBobblehead, Basketball Card
Current worksRetired
Social HandleInstagram (private account), Twitter
Last UpdateNovember, 2022

Elvin Hayes | Early Life, Family and Education

Elvin was the last of six kids born to proud father Christopher Hayes and supporting mother Savannah Hayes.

They were cotton mill laborers in the minor, impoverished settlement of Rayville, Louisiana. Since his early days, Hayes had seen the darkest point of his life.

When he didn’t even own a shoe to wear and had to ask his cousin every time he wanted to go anywhere.

As African American people were mistreated, Elvin’s escape from the partiality and ferocity counter to his race was baseball, his preferred game.

Similarly, the starting of a profession in basketball was totally accidental. Even though he was an upright pupil throughout high school, the teachers often deferred Hayes for class shenanigans.

Further, to navigate Elvin away from the unsafe turn of his life, the respected John Calvin decided to place Elvin on the basketball squad.

He was a teacher and trainer at Eula D. Britton High School. Hayes was very awkward at first, but he practiced very hard.

Later during his junior year, Hayes achieved his signature move, the turnaround jumper.

Also, Elvin understood his outside shooting was insufficient, so he advanced the turnaround jumper to counteract taller rivals.

Further, Hayes directed his squad to fifty-four straight victories and a state tournament while averaging thirty-five points for each game.

All-Conference, All-State, and All-America teams called the Hayes family’s youngest boy because he was an excellent baseball player.

Moreover, those people also voted him as the “Most Valuable Player (MVP)” in 1964, during his last year in high school.


“When I was in elementary school, I went out for Little League, but I didn’t own any shoes. Infact, I didn’t own shoes from fifth to ninth grade and had to go barefoot. When I first started playing basketball, I wore two-left footed tennis shoes I pulled out of the trash and taped to my feet.”
-Elvin Hayes

Elvin Hayes | Age, Height, and Body Measurements

The former stellar player, Hayes, was born on November 17, 1945, which makes him 77 years old as of 2022.

He stands at the astounding height of ‎6 feet 9 inches (206 cm) and weighs about ‎235 lb (107 kg). Surely, Elvin is not the tallest, but he is one of the tall players in the entire NBA.

Elvin in the court
Elvin in the court

Further, Hayes has brown eyes and black curly hair, which suits his facial structures perfectly.

Back in his days, Elvin Ernest had a robust build and a highly maintained body. He maintained a lot and was on a strict diet.

According to his birth date, he is a Scorpio man. Scorpios are known to be career-oriented and hard-working individuals. And in his case, this might even be true.

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Elvin Hayes | College Career

More than 100 colleges and universities wanted to recruit Elvin. But Hayes chose the University of Houston, where he and Don Chaney were the foremost African-American gamers involved in basketball.

Hayes commanded the Cougars into the Western Regional semi-finals of the 1966 NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament. But he lost to the Pac-8 winner Oregon State Beavers In 1966.

Elvin Hayes
Elvin Hayes

Without losing his hope or his spirit, Elvin ran the Cougars to the Final Four of the 1967 NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament the following year.

Similarly, he scored 31 field goals, 25 points, and 24 rebounds in a 73-58 semi-final loss to the ultimate winner UCLA Bruins, including Lew Alcindor (today identified as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar).

Hayes’s rebounding total is next to Bill Russell’s Final Four record of 27. Despite such efforts, the Big E and the Houston Cougars tackled Lew and the UCLA Bruins after the loss.

Likewise, it was shown in the first-ever countrywide onscreen regular season academic basketball game.

In front of the greatest 52,693 admirers at the Houston Astrodome, Elvin recorded 39 points and had 15 rebounds while restraining Alcindor to as little as 15 points.

Finally, Houston beat UCLA 71–69 and ruined the Bruins’ 47-game winning streak in what has been titled the “Game of the Century.”

That game aided Hayes in earning The Sporting News College Basketball Player of the Year.

Hayes credited the trainer Guy Lewis for his success. He also said Coach Lewis and his assistant “were like fathers to us, showing us respect and treating every one of us the same—black or white.”

After the Re-Match

At the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena, Elvin confronted Alcindor and UCLA in the 1968 NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament. It was the replay of the “Game of the Century.”

UCLA trainer John Wooden made the Bruins play a ‘triangle and two” zone defense. Similarly, it was arranged, so Alcindor played in arrears to Hayes and Lynn Shackleford facing him.

He only scored 10 points, as Elvin was behind Alcindor and the Bruins 101-69 in the semi-final game.

Houston’s Hayes was supported in a triumph party after the overthrow of UCLA in the Game of the Century at the Astrodome.

Likewise, Elvin ran Houston in scoring 27.2 points each game, 28.4, and 36.8 for three consecutive years.

For his university career, Hayes accumulated 31.0 points each game and 17.2 rebounds. He has the most recoils in NCAA tournament history at a whopping number of 222.

While a scholar at Houston, Hayes started into the Alpha Nu Omega Chapter of the Iota Phi Theta fraternity together with parallel future Hall of Famer Calvin Murphy.

Further, Elvin was nominated as the first overall selection in both the 1968 NBA draft and 1968 ABA draft after his leaving college.

Likewise, the professional football team San Diego Rockets and the Houston Mavericks took him in, respectively.

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Elvin Hayes | NBA Career

San Diego/Houston Rockets

Hayes merged in the NBA with the San Diego Rockets in 1968. He made an outstanding score of 28.4 points each game and averaged about 17.1 rebounds per game.

Further, the NBA called Elvin to All-Rookie Team. Hayes also became the fifth-best all-time recruit, and he remains the last rookie to prime the NBA in scoring average.

He accumulated a career-high of 54 points in contradiction of the Detroit Pistons on November 11, 1968. In another season, Elvin headed the NBA in rebounding.

That made him the opening player other than Bill Russell or Wilt Chamberlain to lead the group since 1957 (Chamberlain was hurt throughout the season).

In Hayes’ third season, he verified a career-best of 28.7 points each game. Similarly, in 1971, the Rockets moved to Houston, allowing Elvin to perform in the city of his college victories.

Baltimore/Capital/Washington Bullets

Elvin was with the Bullets in 1975 as Baltimore Bullets picked him up in exchange for Jack Marin.

Hayes ran the Washington Bullets to three NBA Finals (1975, 1978, and 1979), and an NBA championship was terminated by the Seattle Supersonics in 1978.

Likewise, throughout the Bullets’ championship season (1978), he accumulated 21.8 points and 12.1 rebounds per game in 21 playoff games.

Hayes also recorded an NBA Finals greatest for most offensive rebounds in a game, in a game counter to the Supersonics.

The Chicago Bulls’ Dennis Rodman grabbed this record two times in both of the games coming in the 1996 NBA Finals and contrary to the Supersonics.

Return to Rockets

Elvin was sent back to the Rockets for second-round draft choices in 1981. Not to mention, the reason was that Hayes Desired to finish his playing career in Texas and preferably Houston.

“I never wanted to work in sports. However, basketball gave me freedom, which is something I never dreamt I would have.”
-Elvin Hayes

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Summary Career Stats


Elvin Hayes | After Basketball

After Elvin’s basketball career came to an end, he returned to his university to finish the last credit hours to get the undergrad degree.

Elvin joined the University of Houston in 1986 and graduated with a B.A. in recreation and speech.

He also pondered into numerous business ventures and raised cattle on his ranch near Texas to get a car dealership in Houston.

Elvin Hayes with Kareem Abdul Jabar
Elvin Hayes with Kareem Abdul Jabar

During one of the interviews, Elvin mentioned that studying was more difficult than playing 16 years of professional basketball. He said, 

“I played 16 years of pro basketball, but this is the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

In 2007, Elvin became a City of Liberty Police Reserve Officer. He said it was his childhood dream to become one.

After fulfilling his duty, he became a radio analyst for the Houston cougars to broadcast games on Houston’s KBME. Judging from all of this, it is clear that Elvin had an exciting career.

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Elvin Hayes | Highlights, Accolades, and Honors

Hayes was already a strong player before he began his professional career. When Hayes pensioned off in 1984, he was amongst the highest in many NBA statistical groupings.

It included being third in scoring (27,313 points), third in rebounds (16,279), third in obstructed shots (1,743), and first in minutes played (nearly 50,000).

Unbelievably he only missed 9 games in 16 seasons and graded third in most games played (1,303).

Career highlights and awards

  • 1967-1968: Consensus first-team All-AmericanUPI Player of the Year, Associated Press Player of the Year, Consensus first-team All-American, Sporting News Player of the Year 
  • 1969-1970: NBA scoring champion, NBA All-Rookie First Team, 12× NBA All-Star (1969-1980), NBA rebounding leader 
  • 1973-1979: 3x All-NBA Second Team, NBA All-Defensive Second Team, 2× NBA All-Defensive Second Team, All-NBA First Team, NBA champion (1978)
  • NBA 50th Anniversary Team
  • NBA 75th Anniversary Team
  • No. 11 retired by Washington Wizards
  • No. 44 retired by Houston Cougars

Elvin Hayes | Personal Life and Children

Elvin Hayes is happily married to his long-time girlfriend, Erna Livingston. The couple has four children, namely Erica, Erna Elisse, and Elvin Hayes Jr.

Hayes’s autobiography, They Call Me the “Big E,” was co-written with Bill Gilbert, gives many insights into Elvin’s personality but covers little specific personal info.

Scott Crawford’s “Elvin Hayes,” in African American Sports Greats (1999), corrected by David Porter, is a decent source for biographical material.

H. Burchard’s Sports Star Elvin Hayes (1980) is a worthy babyish book on Hayes. David Llores, “No Back Seat for Elvin,” Ebony (Mar. 1968), gives some household info that is not obtainable elsewhere.

John Papanek, “The Big E Wants an MVP,” Sports DemonsOctober 16(October 16, 1978), is an outstanding valuation of Hayes’s career.

You can also find information about Elvin Hayes’s career on the NBA History website.

Elvin Hayes | Social Media Presence:

Elvin Hayes is not active on social media. He leads a very private life with little to no social media presence. Elvin’s private social media account is @elvin.hayes.

You might be interested in buying Elvin Hayes’ autographed items. Click to follow!

Elvin Hayes | Some FAQs:

What is the jersey number of Elvin Hayes?

Elvin Hayes was featured in jersey number #44 for the Houston Rockets and jersey number #11 for the Washington Wizards.

How much is Elvin Hayes Topps’s rookie card worth?

Elvin Hayes Topps’s rookie card price ranges from $21.26-$283.99.

Did Elvin Hayes and Michael Jordan play against each other?

No, the two did not get a chance to face each other on the NBA court. Hayes retired the year Jordan was drafted into the NBA. 

Does Elvin Hayes own G.M. Autoworld?

Yes, Elvin Hayes currently owns Liberty-Dayton G.M. Autoworld outside Houston.

Is Elvin Hayes Breitbard hall of famer?

Yes, Elvin Hayes was inducted into the Breitbard Hall of Fame in 2003.

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