Jan. 21, 2009
By Christian Caple
Brandon Roy will have his No. 3 jersey retired in a ceremony prior to UW's game against USC tomorrow, becoming the second Husky player to receive such an honor. Bob Houbregs' No. 25 is the only other jersey the school has ever retired.
Roy, now playing in the NBA with the Portland Trailblazers, will be in attendance for the game.
"You're talking about a guy who was here for four years," UW coach Lorenzo Romar said. "A guy who was part of three consecutive NCAA tournament teams. ... He was the player of the year in our conference his senior year and he was also a first-team All-American, and there are just not many that have got that done."
Roy is remembered most by Husky fans as the catalyst for the revival of a UW basketball program that went four seasons in between NCAA tournament appearances, then made three straight during Roy's career.
His team-leading 20.2 points per game in the 2005-2006 season earned him a spot as a first-team All-American while leading the Huskies to their second consecutive run to the Sweet 16.
Not many would question Roy's qualifications as one of UW's greats. But raising jerseys to the rafters isn't something often done at Washington, especially for a player not long removed from his Husky career.
But Romar said it was something that simply needed to be done, and was a question of `when' and not `if.'
"There's got to be a cut-off line somewhere," Romar said. "And when you talk about Brandon Roy, you can't match what he did. And when you start bringing others in, well, then maybe 70 players qualify for that. Where do you draw the line? And I think Brandon's [UW career] is pretty distinct, and I would say in the future, there will be others that will be recognized in a special way. But Brandon's [career] is in a class by itself."
Romar noted that a great player may never be recognized in such a manner unless those who were around during that era take the initiative.
So it makes sense that Romar, the head coach during UW's basketball revival, is a part of immortalizing Roy's number.
"Brandon Roy separates himself from any era," Romar said. "There are others who definitely should be recognized, but there are not many who have done what he did."
Roy is in his third year with the Trailblazers, claimed the NBA's Rookie of the Year trophy in 2007 and was named to his first All-Star team last season. He leads Portland in scoring at 22.3 points per game, good for eighth in the NBA.