UCLA to retire Reggie Miller’s jersey

reggie-miller-retireReggie Miller, one of the greatest scorers in the history of basketball, will have his Bruin jersey retired in a ceremony at Wednesday’s game against USC, UCLABruins website reported.

A two-time (1986/1987) first-team All-Pac-10 performer, as a sophomore in 1985 Miller helped lead the Bruins to the school’s first-ever NIT Championship.

He was named the NIT’s Most Outstanding Player, scoring 18 points in UCLA’s 65-62 championship victory over Indiana. As a senior in 1987, Miller led UCLA to the regular season Pac-10 crown, the first ever Pac-10 Tournament championship and an NCAA Tournament appearance.

Miller’s best Bruin scoring output came on Feb. 28, 1987, when his 42 points, including a Pauley Pavilion school-record 33 in the second half, which helped lead the Bruins to a 99-86 victory over defending NCAA champion Louisville in Pauley.

Miller’s 42 single-game points is No. 5 (tied) in school history. Miller was UCLA’s leading scorer his final three seasons (1985/15.2, 1986/25.9, 1987/22.3). He had 47 career 20-point games (tied for No. 3 in UCLA history) and 16 career 30-point contests (No. 2 in Bruin annals).

He was a point-producing machine during his four-year Bruin career (1984-87) under UCLA head coach Walt Hazzard.

The 6-7, 190-pound Miller, from Riverside, CA, ended his UCLA career as the school’s second leading all-time scorer (2,095 points), behind only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s 2,325 points (Abdul-Jabbar is now second on the Bruin career scoring list, behind UCLA and Pac-10 all-time leading scorer Don MacLean’s 2,608 points and Miller is now tied for third with Jason Kapono).

On Wednesday, he is set to become the ninth UCLA men’s basketball player to have his UCLA jersey number (#31) retired.

Miller joins Gail Goodrich (#25), Ed O’Bannon (#31), Bill Walton (#32), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (#33), Sidney Wicks (#35), Walt Hazzard (#42), Jamaal Wilkes (#52) and Marques Johnson (#54) as the only UCLA men’s basketball players in history to have their Bruin jersey numbers retired.

reggie-miller-homeEven though the three-point shot was adopted during his UCLA senior season of 1986-87, after 18-years in the NBA with the Indiana Pacers, Miller is known as one of the greatest distance shooters in the history of the game.

A 1987 first-round selection (No. 11 choice) by the Indiana Pacers, Miller played his entire 18-year professional basketball career with Indiana, playing more games (1,323) with the same team than all but two players in league history (John Stockton and Karl Malone of the Utah Jazz).

He was the first Indiana Pacer to start an NBA All-Star game in 1995 and was selected to four additional All-Star contests (1990/1996/1998/2000). When Ben Howland’s UCLA men’s basketball team was in Indianapolis, IN playing in the 2006 NCAA Final Four, the Bruins were in attendance at Conseco Fieldhouse on March 30 when the Pacers retired Miller’s jersey No. 31.

Miller has never won an NBA championship, but he was naed to the “ALL-NBA” team 3 times, and participated in 5 NBA All-Star games. He appeared in 1389 NBA games (1304 started), averaging 18.2 ppg, 3 apg and 3 rpg in 34.3 minutes of action.

Miller was also a standout for Team USA. He was a member of the Gold Medal winning USA Men’s Basketball team (Dream Team III) in 1996 at the Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta, GA. He also played for Team USA at the 1994 (Gold Medal) and 2002 World Championships.

On Sept. 7, 2012, Miller was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame following a memorable collegiate and professional career.

A 1998 inductee into the UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame and 2010 inductee into the Pac-12 Hall of Honor, Miller currently is in his eighth year as an NBA analyst for TNT.


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