a slam dunk find
Houstonians who are serious about living like a baller on the lake should take a look at this house that just hit the market. Realtor.com recently spotted a listing for the 6,917-square-foot house of Basketball Hall of Famer Rudy Tomjanovich, right off the shore of beautiful Lake Travis.
The Zillow listing shows a wealth of photos in white and dark wood grain, for a tasteful, semi-natural look. But across this 5-bedroom, 7-bathroom house, there's one thing that ties it all together: a ton of arches. They appear over the entrance, in many of the windows, in doorways, in shelving, and even on both ends of the pool. Two domed showers look like they're inset in a cave-like bathhouse.
Among the more standard array of rooms — a very spacious entryway, a light-filled kitchen, and a couple of dining nooks and living areas — there are two that stand out.
The first is the study, the darkest room in the house, as one who often peruses mansions might expect. With wood paneling along the walls, exposed wooden beams inset in the ceiling, and big floor-to-ceiling bookcases, this serious room lightens up thanks to almost an entire wall of windows. In these photos, it's obvious that the house belongs to someone who loves basketball.
All the natural woodgrain provides a beautiful contrast to the rest of the white house.106 Bella Cima Drive/Zillow
The other standout room is a wine cellar, seemingly carved from earth, but still fitting in with the white-and-wood aesthetic of the rest of the house. This dramatic storage space is lined with enough shelving to fit hundreds of bottles. A big air vent suggests that the room has its own temperature or humidity control.
Although large, the bedrooms are almost nondescript, save for some inset arches (no way, really?) and walk-in closets big enough to count as another room. At least one of the primary bedrooms features a fireplace in dark marble and a door straight out to the back patio.
It's a grand house, but certainly the biggest draw is the outdoor space. The back patio is topped with a deck, so the entire back of the two-story house is utilized for enjoying the beautiful views in the shade. Tuscan columns offset one section of the patio from the next, creating a few different conversation or reading nooks.
The stone tiled patio floor is even with the pool and "spa" (basically a small hot tub), creating one unified area. On the other side of the pool, an ornate retaining wall sets off the expertly manicured backyard, which avoids the boring green expanses of many mansion lawns in favor of some knobby Texas trees and a conversational fire pit.
There are lots of places to relax among the expert landscaping.106 Bella Cima Drive/Zillow
Other interesting features are a spacious laundry room, a "game room" (which could theoretically be used for anything, and a five-space attached garage.
A local legend, Rudy Tomjanovich spent his entire playing career with the Houston Rockets, starting the final year that the team was based in San Diego in 1970. He was the team's second draft pick that year. The six-foot-eight player (notice those high ceilings?) went on to coach until 2005, and is now a player personnel consultant for the Minnesota Timberwolves at age 74.
But fans will always remember "Rudy T" as the man who brought the city of Houston its first true pro sports championship — twice. Tomjanovich coached the Rockets and Hall of Fame legend Hakeem Olajuwon and co. to Houston and the Rockets' first title in 1994 — and followed suit the next year after a blockbuster mega-trade splash brought University of Houston icon and Hall of Famer Clyde "The Glide" Drexler home to the Rockets.
Addressing doubters and naysayers after the 1995 sequel championship win, Rudy T issued one of the greatest lines in pro sports history : "Don't ever underestimate the heart of a champion."
Speaking of championships, as our columnist Ken Hoffman notes, Coach T celebrated his first title in a truly Houston way, stopping at local dive The Gingerman and Taco Cabana and picking up fans' tabs the whole night — adding to his local icon status.
See more of the house, which currently has an offer pending, on Zillow.
Steven Devadanam contributed to this story.