Tennessee will retire Chris Lofton’s basketball jersey on January 14


Tennessee’s basketball program will pay tribute to legendary All-American and SEC 3-point king Chris Lofton by retiring his No. 5 jersey at halftime of this season’s home game against Kentucky on Saturday, January 14.

Lofton becomes the fifth UT men’s basketball player to be honored permanently in the rafters of Thompson-Boling Arena. He joins Bernard King, Ernie Grunfeld, Allan Houston and Dale Ellis.

“As a recovering basketball player/coach myself – and having worked in college athletics since the early 2000s – I know full well what an exceptional player Chris Lofton was like during his time here,” the vice said. -Chancellor/Athletic Director of Tennessee, Danny White. “Having now learned more about his incredible work ethic, the adversity he overcame and the incredible character he displayed – and keep on going to display – I can’t wait to experience the Thompson-Boling Arena when we unveil its banner in the rafters.”

A native of Maysville, Kentucky, Lofton adapted for the Volunteers from 2004-2008 and left Knoxville as one of the most decorated players in program history.

Lofton earned AP All-America honors during his sophomore, junior, and senior seasons at Tennessee and was named the 2007 SEC Player of the Year. He scored 2,131 career points in his four seasons as a steal, a mark that is still fourth in program history.

“It’s remarkable the legacy that Chris has left here in Tennessee,” said the Vols head coach. Rick Barnes said. “Since I’ve been here, I can’t count the number of fans who have told me stories of Chris Lofton. And I know only too well the type of shooter he was in the game’s greatest moments. He extremely deserves this prestigious recognition.”

One of the most prolific 3-point shooters in NCAA history, Lofton has left his name etched in the record books for his shooting prowess from beyond the arc. He made more than 100 threes per season in each of his last three collegiate campaigns and finished his college career as the all-time 3-point king of Tennessee and the SEC with 431 marks – a record still to be held. to fall. 431’s career made three also ranked third in NCAA Division I history at the time of his departure from Tennessee.

His .422 career 3-point percentage (431 of 1,021) is second-best all-time by a steal, and he also holds the program record for 3-pointers made in a game (9) and top two single-season totals for 3-point marks (118 in 2007-08 and 114 in 2005-06).

Lofton’s toughest battle in Tennessee, however, came stopped the tribunal. Diagnosed with cancer at the end of his junior season, he quietly battled through radiation treatments leading up to the 2007-08 campaign. Lofton’s battle with cancer didn’t become public knowledge until more than a month after his senior season ended.

Although he underwent cancer treatments between his junior and senior years, Lofton authored a senior campaign that earned him a spot on the 2008 Wooden All-America team. on Rocky Top — which saw Tennessee rise to No. 1 on the AP Top-25 rankings for the first time in program history and win a program-record 31 games — Lofton started all 36 competitions while leading the team in scoring (15.5 ppg) and 3-point shooting (.384).

Lofton’s junior season saw him win the 2007 SEC Player of the Year award, as he won the SEC scoring title with a career-best 20.8 points per game . In addition to his SEC honor, Lofton was a consensus second-team All-American in 2007 and entered the national ballot for the Wooden Award and the Naismith Trophy.

Lofton first burst onto the national college basketball scene as a sophomore in 2005-06, leading the Vols to a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament by posting team-leading totals in scoring (17.2 ppg), 3-point percentage (.437), 3-point marks (114), field goal marks (174), steals per game (2.0 spg) and minutes (31.9 mpg ).

As a freshman, he averaged 13.2 points and shot .465 from beyond the arc—the second-best single-season 3-point percentage in program history. His 93 3-pointers also ranked second on Tennessee’s single-season list and was the most ever by an SEC freshman — breaking Chris Jackson’s SEC freshman record. from LSU of 84 in 1988-89.

After his time in Tennessee, Lofton embarked on a 10-year professional playing career in Spain, Russia, Turkey, France, Lithuania and South Korea.

He was named to the Tennessee Basketball All-Century team in 2009, graduated from UT in 2010, and was inducted into the Kentucky High School Basketball Hall of Fame in 2014.

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