Ceremony will take place at halftime of the Lute Olson All-Star Classic on Aug. 14
TUCSON, Ariz. ?- The University of Arizona department of athletics will retire the jersey worn by former All-American and 2003 Frances Pomeroy Naismith Player of the Year Jason Gardner in a ceremony scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 14.
The ceremony will take place at halftime of the Lute Olson All-Star Classic. Tip-off is scheduled for 1 p.m. PDT in McKale Center.
“We are very proud to honor Jason on such a special weekend,” said Athletics Director Jim Livengood. “His accomplishments as a Wildcat certainly make him a worthy recipient of this honor.”
Gardner, a 5-foot-10 point guard from Indianapolis, Ind., played for the Wildcats from 1999-2003. He earned All-America honors 12 times during his career, including six such selections in 2002-03. In addition to his All-America accolades, he was a three-time all-Pac-10 honoree and a five-time all-region selection, culminated by United States Basketball Writers Association all-District 9 Player-of-the-Year honors in 2002-03.
Gardner still ranks in the top 10 in 13 different career statistical categories, including career 3-point field goals made (2nd/318), 3-point field goal attempts (1st/875), steals (2nd/225), assists (3rd/622), games played (1st/136), games started (1st/135), and minutes played (1st/4,825). He is the highest scoring guard in Arizona history (1,984 points) and ranks third on the career points scored list. Gardner posted per game averages of 14.6 points, 3.4 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 1.7 steals during his 136-game career.
His impact on college basketball was immediate as he earned a number of individual accolades in 1999-2000, including national Freshman-of-the-Year honors from Basketball Times, the USBWA and ESPN.com. Over the course of his career, Gardner guided Arizona to a 107-29 (.787) record, two Pac-10 championships (2000, 2003), a Pac-10 Tournament title (2002) and berth in the 2001 national championship game.
Gardner is one of only four players in Pacific-10 Conference history to amass more than 1,500 points, 500 assists and 200 steals in a career. Additionally, his 4,825 career minutes played are the second-most in NCAA history, according to information collected by Basketball Times.
Based on department policy, only student-athletes who were recognized as national athletes of the year, or received a major national “athlete of the year” honor are eligible for their jersey to be retired. Numbers are not retired, only the jersey is retired.
Gardner, who wore No. 22 as a Wildcat, joins Sean Elliott (1985-89), Steve Kerr (1983-88) and Mike Bibby (1996-98) as the only University of Arizona men’s basketball players to have their jerseys retired.
Gardner has played professional basketball in Europe since completing his eligibility, including the last two seasons in Belgium.
For tickets to the Lute Olson All-Star Classic, please contact the McKale Center Ticket Office at (520) 621-CATS.