EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – It was an obvious move and the right one to make. El Paso ISD’s Board of Trustees voted on Tuesday night to rename the Andress High School gymnasium after the late, great Jim Forbes.

The gym will officially be called the James R. Forbes Legacy Gymnasium, a perfect name given the legacy Forbes left with how he lived his entire life. Forbes died in January at the age of 69 due to complications with COVID-19.

Complete details are still being ironed out, such as whether the court will also bear Forbes’ name and what banners might be hung. Andress is the second El Paso high school to name its gym after Forbes; Riverside did it in 2018.

“I had the luxury of being at the board meeting yesterday and I was super excited and so were our kids, our principal and everyone on campus,” said Andress boys basketball interim head coach Eugene Costello. “The name of the gym couldn’t be more fitting; I was really happy with that, as long as he’s being represented.”

A lifelong El Pasoan who won over 700 games as a high school coach at Riverside High School and then Andress. He led the Rangers from 1984-2004, taking Riverside to the Texas Final 4 in 1995. He then went to Andress and from 2004-2021, he turned the Eagles into a powerhouse, leading them to multiple regional tournaments and the Final 4 in 2015.

Before he was a coach, Forbes was a fantastic player, too. He starred at Bel Air High School in El Paso, where he was named an All-American and had his number 50 jersey retired by the Highlanders in 2012.

After completing high school, he then went to UTEP to play for Don Haskins in the early 1970s. Injuries hampered Forbes for the remainder of his playing career, but he was still productive enough to be drafted by the NBA’s Chicago Bulls.

Forbes is best known in his playing career as a member of the 1972 USA Olympic basketball team that was robbed of a gold medal in Munich, losing at the buzzer to the Soviet Union. Forbes and his teammates refused to accept their silver medals, something Forbes told KTSM in early 2021 he was still proud of.

No official date has been set for the renaming of Andress’ gym in honor of Forbes.

Andress boys basketball was also honored in a different way on Wednesday, when interim head coach Eugene Costello was named the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches (TABC) Class 5A Don Coleman Outstanding Coach of the Year.

When Forbes was diagnosed with COVID-19 in December, then died in the middle of the season in January, Costello was the man everyone in the school looked to for guidance and support, from students and players, to the rest of the coaching staff and faculty. He and his staff did a phenomenal job holding the team together and still managed to lead them to the precipice of the 5A Regional Quarterfinals.

“It’s not an award for me; it’s an award for our players, the administration and our coaches, everyone that supported the team during that time,” Costello said on Wednesday. “We couldn’t have done the things we did to finish the season without that support. Even people in the community gave us the strength to push through the rest of the season.”

Andress has not yet hired a full-time head coach for its boys basketball program for the 2022-23 season, but Costello is still working with the team as the interim head coach as of April. He has applied for the full-time job and would appear to be a slam dunk candidate for the position of replacing his mentor Forbes.

“I was with (Coach Forbes) every single day. I still think about it a lot and I haven’t fully processed the season yet. I really took it hard,” said Costello. “I’m taking things one day at a time. We still have a job to do working the kinds making sure they’re ready for next season. I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.”