UConn to re­tire Allen’s, Lobo’s num­bers

The Norwalk Hour - - SPORTS - By David Borges

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.”

Doug Pensinger / Getty Im­ages

UConn will re­tire Ray Allen’s No. 34 in a cer­e­mony on March 3 at Gam­pel Pavil­ion.

Lobo

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