Kansas to Retire Five Former Jayhawk Jerseys During 2004-05 Season
Nov. 11, 2004
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The University of Kansas will retire the jerseys of five former KU men’s basketball greats during the upcoming season as part of the celebration of the 50th anniversary of Allen Fieldhouse. KU athletics department officials announced Thursday.
KU will honor Bill Bridges, Walter Wesley, Dave Robisch, Bud Stallworth and Darnell Valentine at individual games throughout the upcoming season. Bridges starts the jersey retirements at the December 9 game against TCU. Wesley will be honored on December 18 when KU hosts South Carolina. Valentine is next on January 1 against Georgia Tech (A CHANGE FROM PREVIOUS RELEASES), followed by Stallworth January 31 vs. Missouri and Robisch February 27 against Oklahoma State.
Bridges (6-5) played center at Kansas from 1959-61 and earned All-American honors in 1961. A native of Hobbs, N.M., Bridges was a three-time All-Big Eight Conference selection. He grabbed 1,000 rebounds, despite playing in only 78 games, recording an amazing 13.9 rebounds per game over a three-year career. KU’s postseason rebounding team award bears Bridges’ name. He played for head coach Dick Harp at KU and wore No. 32, currently worn by freshman Darnell Jackson.
Wesley was a 6-11 center who was named All-American following the 1964-65 and 1965-66 seasons. A two-time All-Big Eight Conference selection his junior and senior seasons, Wesley’s 19.3 career scoring average ranks in the top 10 on the KU list. He averaged more than 20 points per contest in both his junior and senior seasons. A native of Fort Myers, Fla., Wesley played for Ted Owens at Kansas, as did Robisch, Stallworth and Valentine. Wesley and Wilt Chamberlain wore jersey No. 13 at KU. Chamberlain’s jersey retirement was in 1998.
Robisch earned Helms Foundation All-American honors following the 1969-70 and 1970-71 seasons. The Springfield, Ill., 6-10 forward was a three-time All-Big Eight Conference honoree in 1969, ’70 and ’71. Robisch’s most productive season was his junior year, when he averaged 26.5 points per game. His 689 points in 1969-70 still rank eighth on the KU single-season list. He ended his career with a 21.1 scoring average. Robisch was also an All-Big Eight pitcher for the KU baseball team in 1969, posting four wins and a team-leading 55 strikeouts in 56 innings. Robisch is one of only four players to wear No. 40 while at Kansas. The others are John Crawford (1978-81), Dale Greenlee (1973-75) and George Unseld (1963-64).
Stallworth, Valentine and later Jacque Vaughn are the only three players in school history to earn All-American honors both on the floor and academically. The 1972 Big Eight Conference Player of the Year from Hartselle, Ala., Stallworth was a two-time all-league selection and was named Academic All-American in 1971 and All-American the following season. A 6-5 forward, Stallworth’s 50 points against Missouri in 1972 rank second on the KU single-game scoring list. He ended his KU career with an 18.1 scoring average. Stallworth will be the third No. 15 to have his jersey retired at Kansas, joining Ray Evans and Jo Jo White.
Valentine was named an All-American following his senior season in 1981, and earned Academic All-American honors three times – in 1979, ’80 and ’81. He is the only KU player to be named first-team all-conference four times. He still ranks No. 1 at Kansas in most free throws made with 541 and most steals with 336. A 6-2 guard from Wichita, Kan., Valentine is fifth on the school career scoring list with 1,821 points; the top four are listed as forwards and centers. A four-time team most valuable player, Valentine ranks fifth on the KU career assists list at 609. He wore No. 14 while at KU.
KU initiated the concept of retiring the jerseys of outstanding Jayhawk men’s basketball players prior to the 1992-93 season, when banners honoring Clyde Lovellette, Danny Manning, B.H. Born, Charlie Black, Paul Endacott, Wilt Chamberlain and Charlie Black were unveiled in the south end of Allen Fieldhouse. The original criteria for a retired jersey included KU players named college basketball player of the year, most valuable player of the NCAA Tournament or being named a four-time All-American. The list was expanded in 1997 to include Ray Evans, who holds the distinction of being an All-American in both football and basketball.
The criteria was expanded prior to the 2002-03 season to include consensus first-team All-Americans, two-time first-team All-Americas and Academic All-American of the Year selections. The five honorees this season will bring the total to 24 men’s players and two women’s players with jerseys retired at KU.