Fresno State Basketball

Fresno State to retire the jersey of Paul George at its home opener against Winthrop

Fresno State will retire the jersey of Paul George, who went on to basketball stardom after playing two seasons for the Bulldogs.

George was selected by the Indiana Pacers with the No. 10 overall selection in the 2010 NBA Draft and is a six-time NBA All-Star. He also won a gold medal as a member of the 2016 U.S. Olympic team.

A ceremony to retire his jersey will be held at halftime of the Bulldogs’ home opener on Nov. 10, a Sunday afternoon game against Winthrop on what will be Paul George Day at the Save Mart Center. George is expected to attend.

“I am humbled by the honor of having my jersey retired by Fresno State,” George says in a release from the athletics department. “I loved my time there and am so appreciative of the staff and the fans and everyone in the Bulldog family that has been part of my basketball journey.”

George averaged 15.5 points, 6.7 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 63 career games at Fresno State. He spent his first seven seasons in the NBA with the Pacers, then two with the Oklahoma City Thunder before joining the Los Angeles Clippers this season. He’s recovering froom offseason shoulder surgeries and not expected to make his debut until mid-November.

The Bulldogs were 13-21 and finished ninth in the Western Athletic Conference in 2009 when George was a freshman and 15-18 and fifth in the conference in 2010 when George was a sophomore and a second-team all-conference selection.

George averaged 16.8 points, 7.2 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 2.2 steals and 0.8 blocks per game as a sophomore while hitting 42.4% (154 of 363) of his shots including 35.3% (122 of 308) from the 3-point line.

“We are proud to honor Paul George for his exemplary contributions to the game of basketball, both while competing as a student-athlete at Fresno State and during his illustrious ongoing career in the NBA,” athletics director Terry Tumey said.

“One of our goals as a Department is to connect our rich tradition with our promising future by honoring the legends of our past appropriately. There will be more recognition to come, as we have so many great former Bulldogs out there, but this particular opportunity is all about celebrating Paul George and his wonderful achievements.”

George will be the second Fresno State men’s basketball player to have his jersey retired, joining Jerry Tarkanian. The Bulldogs’ former player and coach had No. 2 retired on March 1, 2014.

Robert Kuwada: @rkuwada

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