Save The Date: Vols To Retire Ellis Jersey On March 1

Sunday, August 25, 2013 - by special report to chattanoogan.com

KNOXVILLE --The Tennessee basketball program will officially retire the No. 14 jersey of legendary forward Dale Ellis during a pregame ceremony on March 1, 2014, in conjunction with the Volunteers’ home game against Vanderbilt that day at Thompson-Boling Arena.

 

The game is set for a noon ET tipoff and will be televised nationally on either ESPN or ESPN2.

 

Earlier this year, Tennessee announced its intention to retire Ellis’ jersey during the 2013-14 season, but an exact date for the retirement ceremony had not been established.

 

The Vols posted a 7-2 record against SEC and in-state rival Vanderbilt during Ellis’ career on Rocky Top (1980-83).

 

A LEGENDARY CAREER FOR ONE OF THE GAME’S MOST VERSATILE PLAYERS (from Feb. 28 release)

Ellis – a two-time first-team All-American – will become the fourth UT men’s player to be permanently honored in the Thompson-Boling Arena rafters. He joins Bernard King (No. 53), Ernie Grunfeld (No. 22) and Allan Houston (No. 20).

 

That trio previously had their "numbers" retired. Tennessee in February announced that such honors moving forward will be recognized as retired "jerseys." The school also announced new criteria to be eligible for such a distinction. To read the revised criteria, click HERE.

 

A native of Marietta, Ga., Ellis suited up for the Vols and head coach Don DeVoe from 1979-83. Ellis was twice named the SEC Player of the Year (1982 and 1983), and he was a three-time first-team All-SEC selection. As a junior in 1981-82, he led Tennessee to a 20-10 (13-5 SEC) record and the regular-season SEC Championship.

 

He returned to UT during breaks early in his NBA career to work toward his graduation requirements, earning his degree in Sociology in 1985.

 

"Dale Ellis represents everything that's great about being a Tennessee Volunteer," current UT head coach Cuonzo Martin said. "He performed at a championship level while he was here. He achieved the ultimate goal, which is to graduate. And he went on to have a very successful professional career.

 

"One of the most impressive things about Dale's career on the basketball court is the fact that he was an All-American in college when there was no 3-point line, and then he went on to the NBA and developed into one of the greatest 3-point shooters in the history of the league.

 

"He is extremely deserving of this honor, and I thank him for being involved with our program, because he's a great role model for our young men."



Ellis raised his scoring average every season during his career on Rocky Top. The 6-7, 205-pound forward averaged 7.1 points as a freshman in 1979-80, and that average rose to 17.7 ppg, 21.2 ppg and finally 22.6 ppg during his senior campaign in 1982-83. His 2,065 total points ranked third in program history at the conclusion of his UT career, and he currently ranks sixth on the school's all-time scoring list.

 

His 724 points as a senior set a UT single-season record (has since been surpassed). However, he remains Tennessee's all-time leader in field-goal percentage for a single season (.654 in 1981-82) and a career (.595; min. 500 attempts).

 

Ellis' standout career in Knoxville led to several other honors and recognitions, including: two selections to the SEC Tournament All-Tournament Team (1982 and 1983); honorable mention on the Lakeland Ledger's 1986 25-Year All-SEC Team; and inclusion on the 1989 Clarion Ledger/Jackson Daily News SEC Team of the 1980s.

 

He also was selected as UT's "SEC Basketball Legend" for the 2004 SEC Tournament, and in 2009, he was named to Tennessee's All-Century Team.

 

Close to two decades worth of NBA stardom highlighted Ellis' outstanding professional basketball playing career after he left Rocky Top. He was picked by the Dallas Mavericks with the ninth overall selection in the 1983 NBA Draft, and he went on to play 19 seasons in the NBA for six different teams.

 

Though the 3-point line did not exist during Ellis' collegiate career, he became one of the greatest 3-point shooters in the history of the NBA – in fact, he was the first player in the history of the league to make 1,000 3-point shots. In 1997-98, he led the league with a .464 shooting percentage from beyond the arc. He also won the Long Distance Shootout during the 1989 NBA All-Star Weekend in Houston. In the actual All-Star game that year, he scored 27 points on 12-of-16 shooting.

 

Ellis earned third-team All-NBA honors in 1988-89 after averaging 4.2 rebounds and a career-best 27.5 points per game (third in the league, behind only Michael Jordan [32.5 ppg] and Karl Malone [29.1 ppg]).

 

In 1986-87, he garnered the NBA's Most Improved Player Award after averaging 24.9 ppg for the Seattle Supersonics.

 

During his 19 NBA seasons, he played six-plus years with Seattle and also spent time with Dallas, Milwaukee, San Antonio, Denver, Charlotte and Miami. His teams made 10 playoff appearances.

 

He ranks tied for eighth on the NBA's all-time list for 3-pointers made (1,719) and tied for 25th in career 3-point shooting percentage (.403).

 

Upon retirement, Ellis traveled the world as an ambassador of the game. For 12 years, he visited places such as Asia, Europe and South America. He spent time in Afghanistan, Iraq and Kuwait visiting U.S. troops.

 

Ellis, 53-years-old and still in tremendous physical condition, now resides in his hometown of Marietta and serves as president of the Atlanta chapter of the National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA).

 

For the most up-to-date information about the Tennessee basketball program, visit UTsports.com/basketball and follow @Vol_Hoops on Twitter and Instagram.


Rhea County Picked To Win Region 4-5A

Rhea County's Golden Eagles have been picked to win the Region 4-5A championship in Murphy Fair's Tennessee High School Football magazine. Coach Mark Pemberton has led the Eagles to a state quarterfinal and two semifinals in his three years as head coach. Senior Mason Stephenson rushed for more than 1,400 yards last year and Eddie Bice ran for another 1,200. Ooltewah ... (click for more)

Wolcott Earns Medalist Honors In State Match Play

Ben Wolcott Shot 70 Friday and earned the medalist honors in the 16th Tennessee Match Play Championship at The Bear Trace at Harrison Bay. Thomas Chip from Knoxville finished as the No. 2 seed with a total of 135. The round of 16 and quarterfinals will be played on Saturday with the semifinals and final on Sunday. Tim Jackson took the No. 1 seeding in the Senior Division. ... (click for more)

Man, 28, Shot And Killed In East Chattanooga

A 28-year-old man was shot and killed in East Chattanooga early Friday morning. The victim was identified as Jeremy Clark, a brother of House candidate Dennis Clark. Dennis Clark said, "Jeremy, a beloved son, my younger brother and dear friend to many, was taken from us too soon. The pain from our sudden and tragic loss is Indescribable. He was a compassionate and fun-loving ... (click for more)

Michael Ford Sentenced To More Than 13 Years In Prison On Drug Charges

Michael Shawn Ford has been sentenced to 13 and a half years in prison on drug charges. On April 20, 2105, Ford was arrested at his house in East Ridge. Police found him hiding in the closet with a laundry bag which contained a loaded pistol and 7.9 grams of crystal meth. Officers said that two backpacks were found in the same bedroom, one with 257.3 grams of crystal meth ... (click for more)

Olympic Events On The Ocoee River Made History – But It Wasn’t Easy

It started with a simple “what if” question while Atlanta officials were working on a bid to host the 1996 Summer Olympic Games.  A group of amateur kayakers from the city began asking themselves: “What if Atlanta’s bid is successful? Then where would the Olympic whitewater canoe and kayak races be held?”  To some of the members of that group, the answer was obvious. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Don’t Kick A Man’s Neck

From the minute my brothers and I each became cognizant, my dad started teaching us the rules of becoming a man. Dad was from deep in Mississippi and he’d been taught a lot of life’s secrets from his father. These lessons have been passed for generations and, the older I have become, I’m convinced a lot of them were borne from The Sermon on the Mount. Our favorite, back in the ... (click for more)