One of Fresno State’s most famous alumni will return to the Save Mart Center Sunday for his jersey retirement. Six-time NBA All-Star Paul George will have his Number 24 jersey retired during the men’s basketball team’s home opener.
The Los Angeles Clipper is a native of Palmdale and played for the Bulldogs from 2008-2010. He was the 10th player drafted in the 2010 NBA Draft. He’s played for the Indiana Pacers and Oklahoma City Thunder before returning to California this season.
“We are proud to honor Paul George for his exemplary contributions to the game of basketball, both while competing as a student-athlete at Fresno State and during his illustrious ongoing career in the NBA,” Fresno State Athletic Director Terry Tumey said. “One of our goals as a Department is to connect our rich tradition with our promising future by honoring the legends of our past appropriately. There will be more recognition to come, as we have so many great former Bulldogs out there, but this particular opportunity is all about celebrating Paul George and his wonderful achievements.”
The jersey retirement ceremony will take place during halftime. The 2016 Olympic gold medalist says he is excited to return to Fresno and this old home court.
“I am humbled by the honor of having my jersey retired by Fresno State,” George said. “I loved my time there and am so appreciative of the staff and the fans and everyone in the Bulldog family that has been part of my basketball journey.”
George is the second former Fresno State men’s basketball student-athlete to be honored with a jersey retirement, joining former Bulldog coach and player Jerry Tarkanian. Tark’s Number 2 jersey was retired in 2014.
Fresno State is hoping a big crowd turns out to honor George. There’s an online ticket special. You can purchase four tickets for $24. For more ticket information visit the Bulldog Ticket Office or call 559-278-DOGS.
“Our guys are working hard,” Hutson said. “I couldn’t be more proud of how hard our team is working. We do have some talent.
The Dogs will play 15 games at home this season. They are coming off of a 23-9 season. It’s the second year for coach Justin Hutson who is a Bakersfield native. He says he’s proud of how his team has been preparing.
“The Bulldogs are lead by two fifth-year seniors. Nate Grimes plays forward and center. Last year he was one of two Mountain West players to average a double-double. Meaning he scored more than ten points per game and had at least ten rebounds.
New Williams is also a fifth-year senior. The guard was a McDonald’s All-American nominee from Santa Monica High School. He played in all 32 games last season.
Tip-off for Sunday’s game against Winthrop is 2 p.m.