UConn Huskies retire Ray Allen’s number

"I thank you all for supporting me even after I left the University — no matter where I went."

Ray Allen Jim Calhoun
Jim Calhoun answers a question at a news conference on the UConn campus, while Ray Allen listens. –AP Photo/Bob Child

STORRS, Conn. (AP) — Former Boston Celtic and UConn Husky Ray Allen returned to Harry A. Gampel Pavilion Sunday afternoon for his jersey retirement.

The Huskies sent Allen’s No. 34 to the rafters during a halftime ceremony, making him the second player in school history — 1995 NCAA champion Rebecca Lobo is the other — to have his number retired. The school has just one criterion for retiring numbers: enshrinement in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Allen played three seasons under coach Jim Calhoun at UConn, averaging 23.4 points on 48.7 percent shooting. He was named Big East Player of the Year honors in 1996 and also earned first-team All-Big East honors twice. Allen forewent his senior season to declare for the 1996 NBA Draft.

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“It’s a special place,” Allen said. “It’s the reason that I continue to always come back. I want these young kids to understand that it’s a privilege to play here.”

Despite failing to make a 3-point basket for the first time in more than nine years and 338 consecutive games, the Huskies managed to hold off South Florida for a 60-58 win Sunday. The win snapped a six-game losing streak for UConn, which had not won since star Jalen Adams suffered a knee injury in the first half of a loss to Temple on Feb. 6.

Connecticut’s Josh Carlton scored 16 points and pulled down nine rebounds, while Alterique Gilbert added 15. The Huskies play their final home game of the season on Thursday night against Temple.

Related: 10 things we learned from Ray Allen’s upcoming tell-all book

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