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.


UTC is No.13 in This Week's Football Poll

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football team moved up a spot in the national polls, despite dropping a tough 20-16 battle at Central Michigan last week.  The Mocs are No. 13 in the Sports Network Top-25 and No. 15 in the FCS Coaches Poll this week.  The No. 13 national mark ties the highest ranking for UTC in the Russ Huesman era (since ... (click for more)

PHOTOS: Lookouts Celebrate Winning Second-Half Title

Four weeks ago, no one would have expected the Lookouts would be even close to winning the second-half title. An 11-game winning streak put them into the race and when they swept the Tennessee Smokies Sunday they had concluded an incredible comeback. The Smokies were still in a position to win before Chris O'Brien's pinch-hit triple plated Corey Seager and O'Koyea Dickson with ... (click for more)

16-Year-Old Shot Near Emma Wheeler Homes

A 16-year-old was shot near Emma Wheeler Homes on Sunday night. At approximately 7:40 p.m., Chattanooga Police received a call of a person shot from a local hospital. Officers spoke to the victim, a 16-year-old black male, who was transported to a local hospital in a personal vehicle. The victim’s injury is minor and non-life threatening. Investigators spoke to the victim ... (click for more)

Helen Burns Sharp Asks Recovery Of Legal Fees In Successful Black Creek TIF Lawsuit

Helen Burns Sharp, citizen activist who sued to try to stop a $9 million Black Creek Tax Increment Financing (TIF) and won, is seeking to have her legal expenses paid by the city and the developers. Ms. Sharp said in a court filing that her legal bills to attorney John Konvalinka are $74,427 thus far. Chancellor Frank Brown ruled in favor of Ms. Sharp, saying the Sunshine ... (click for more)

Decimating The Chattanooga Public Library

Corinne Hill claims that the library is just undergoing a normal weeding process for eliminating books.  She has bragged that she's responsible for the elimination of over 100,000 books - with more to go. "Normal" weeding is not rampant throwing away.  Yes, books go to the Friends for their sale - where they get $2 for a $75 book and thousands wind up being recycled ... (click for more)

The Many Lessons I Learned From Helen McDonald Exum

Helen McDonald Exum was my friend and mentor. As I think of her passing I can only imagine the celebration that is happening in heaven as the news of her arrival is being told. I am sure that there is a party that not only has she organized but that there is not a detail that has been left to chance. I am sure that it is the grandest of events, for you see, she has been planing ... (click for more)