UConn to retire Allen’s, Lobo’s numbers
Hall of Famers Ray Allen and Rebecca Lobo will be the first players to have their uniforms retired by the University of Connecticut.
Allen’s No. 34 and Lobo’s No. 50 will be formally retired during the first weekend of March, the school announced Friday. Allen became the first UConn men’s alum inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in September, while 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,” director of athletics 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 both members of the Huskies of Honor inaugural class in 2006. Numerous former Huskies jerseys are retired in the Huskies of Honor, but No. 34 and No. 50 will become unavailable in perpetuity after this year — an honor that will only be bestowed upon Hall of Famers.
The retirements will be held in separate ceremonies. Lobo’s will be March 2, when UConn hosts Houston at 1 p.m. at Gampel Pavilion. Allen’s will be March 3, when the Huskies host USF at Gampel at noon. UConn isn’t sure yet whether the ceremonies will be held pregame, postgame or at halftime.
Over the summer, former UConn coach (and Hall of Famer) Jim Calhoun suggested that Allen and Lobo should have their numbers
retired, and that plans were in the works to do so. Allen said at the time he would be honored, but the decision was up to UConn.
Lobo finished her career with 2,133 points, 1,268 rebounds, and 396 blocked shots in 126 games. The Southwick, Mass., native was the unanimous National Player of the Year in 1995 and a two-time First Team All-American in addition to being honored as the Big East Player of the Year twice.
Lobo also was selected as the Big East Scholar-Athlete of the Year twice in addition to earning First Team Academic All-America status in 1994 and 1995. She was the recipient of the 1995 NCAA Post-Graduate Scholarship and earned recognition as the NCAA Woman of the Year in 1995.
Following her career at UConn, Lobo was named to the United States national team and won a gold medal at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta prior to beginning her professional career with the New York Liberty when the WNBA formed in 1997. Lobo was
named to the WNBA AllStar Team during her rookie season.
“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. “We all know that before long there will be plenty of other UConn women’s jerseys hanging next to mine. I am forever grateful to Coach Auriemma and CD for the impact they had on my life and would like to pass along congratulations to Ray as well.”
She retired in 2003 as a member of the Connecticut Sun and joined the women’s basketball talent team at ESPN.
“I’m not surprised. If you’re going to do it, those are the two you have to do. It’s a pretty big deal to get in the Hall of Fame, right? I think it’s a big deal at this school to be the only two players that are in the Hall of Fame,” UConn women’s coach Geno Auriemma said.
Allen was a two-time All-American and the USA Basketball Athlete of the Year (1995), he was the Big East Conference Player of the Year in 1995-96 and a
two-time First Team AllConference selection.
His 1,922-career point total still ranks fifth alltime at UConn, while his 19.0 career average is fourth, his 44.8 three-point field goal percentage is first, as are his 67 straight games in double figures. The 818 points he scored as a junior is the third-highest season total in UConn history. He made too many memorable shots to count, including the one that beat Georgetown for the 1996 Big East Tournament championship that has been replayed about a million times.
UConn’s record during Allen’s three years was 89-13 (.873), and in the Big East it was an even better 49-5 (.907), and included three Big East regularseason titles, a Big East Tournament championship, two trips to the NCAA Sweet 16 and a one to the NCAA Elite Eight.
“It’s truly a great honor,” Allen said. “I know in the history of the program, nobody has had their number retired and to be the first is really unfathomable to me.”
UConn will retire Ray Allen’s No. 34 in a ceremony on March 3 at Gampel Pavilion.