Ray Allen, Rebecca Lobo to have UConn numbers retired
They transcended the sport, drawing young and old people all over New England to become lifelong fans and supporters of UConn basketball. Both had style, class and extraordinary lead- ership qualities on and off the court. And now, the school will make sure Rebecca Lobo and Ray Allen are never forgotten.
UConn will retire the numbers of the former All-America basketball standouts, the school announced Friday.
Following a ceremony in early March, no UConn player will be permitted to wear Allen’s No. 34 or Lobo’s No. 50, which will be the first basketball numbers retired at UConn. According to an athletic department statement, UConn players will be eligible to have their numbers retired upon induction into the
National Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield. Allen entered the Hall this past fall, Lobo was enshrined in 2017.
“Rebecca and Ray are two UConn basketball icons who were integral to the success and growth of both programs and I am thrilled that we will be able to recognize them in this special way,” athletic director David Benedict said in a statement. “Rebecca and Ray continue to be tremendous ambassadors for UConn and we are proud of all their accomplishments and grateful for their continued support of the university community.”
Allen and Lobo are already members of the Huskies of Honor, with their numbers hung at Gampel Pavilion alongside other UConn basketball greats.
Allen averaged 19 points over three seasons at UConn, while leading the Huskies to three Big East titles and three Sweet 16 berths. He then enjoyed an 18-year NBA career in which he set the league record for 3-point field goals and drilled one of the most memorable shots in basketball history, at the end of regulation during Game 6 of the 2013 Finals, helping the Miami Heat to a title.
Lobo won numerous women’s college basketball player-of-the-year awards in 1994-1995 as she led UConn to an undefeated season and its first national championship. After leaving Storrs with 2,133 career points and 1,268 career rebounds, she went on to compete in the Olympics and in the WNBA and now works as a color commentator on ESPN’s women’s basketball coverage.
"I spent four amazing years wearing the No. 50 on my UConn jersey and am honored and thrilled that it will have a permanent home in the rafters of Gampel Pavilion,” Lobo said in a statement.
Added Allen: “It’s truly a great honor. I know in the history of the program, nobody has had their number retired and to be the first is really unfathomable to me.”
In the two decades since they played at UConn, Lobo and Allen have remained engaged with the university in various ways, returning for events and speaking frequently about their time in Storrs. During her Hall of Fame speech, Lobo called going to UConn “the best basketball decision of my life.” In his induction address a year later, Allen extensively thanked his college coach, Jim Calhoun.
Lobo and Allen were both part of the inaugural Huskies of Honor classes in 2006 and 2007. Currently, 21 men’s players (along with three coaches and one team) have been enshrined in the Huskies of Honor, as have 20 women’s players (plus two coaches and five teams). There are no strict parameters for inclusion in the Huskies of Honor, though most players were named All-Americans during their college careers.
Lobo and Allen are the only former Huskies who have been inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Others, such as Diana Taurasi, Sue Bird and Maya Moore, are likely to be enshrined when they become eligible, at which point they will likely have their respective numbers retired.
Over the years, other men, including Alex Oriakhi and Hasheem Thabeet, have worn Allen’s No. 34. However, no woman has worn No. 50 since Lobo graduated in 1995.
A UConn spokesman said Allen’s and Lobo’s number retirements will apply only to the team each player competed for, meaning future men will still be allowed to wear No. 50, and future women will be able to wear No. 34.
Ray Allen averaged 19 points a game over three seasons atUConn, led the Huskies to three Big East titles and three Sweet 16 berths, and had a long NBA career.
Rebecca Lobo led UConn to an undefeated season and its first national championship in 1994-95. She left Storrs with 2,133 career points and 1,268 career rebounds.