It’s only been a few seasons, but the University of Wisconsin men’s basketball program is about to put a new banner in to the rafters of the Kohl Center.
On Monday, the athletic department announced it was retiring former star Frank Kaminsky’s No. 44 jersey.
Kaminsky was quick to point out that this was far from his thoughts when he arrived on campus.
“When I committed to play at Wisconsin, I had big dreams about what my time on campus would be like,” Kaminsky said in a statement. “Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine having my number hanging in the Kohl Center rafters. I’m truly honored by this recognition and I can’t wait to come back to Madison in February.
“My hope is that my number can serve as a symbol of all the great teammates, coaches and staff members I was lucky enough to be around every day, but also the best fans in the world who supported us during our run. This is truly a dream come true.”
Kaminsky is clearly one of the greatest college basketball players to ever wear the Red and White, especially considering the honors he won individually and as a member of the team.
All he did was manage to win just about everything following the 2014-15 season.
The first player in Wisconsin history to win the Wooden Award, Naismith Trophy, Oscar Robertson Trophy and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award, Kaminsky was also named 2015 National Player of the Year by the Associated Press, Sporting News and USA Today. A consensus first-team All-American, Kaminsky became just the third Big Ten Player of the Year in program history.
If that doesn’t get your number retired at Wisconsin, few things outside of maybe winning the national championship would do it.
Unfortunately, even Kaminsky couldn’t get the Badgers over the hump, as the ended a back-to-back run to the Final Four with a loss in the 2015 national championship game against Duke.
Kaminsky still produced one of the greatest individual seasons while the team reached heights it hadn’t since 1941.
In a season of rebuild for the Badgers, this will be a fun moment and a reminder to the new crop of players what is possible at Wisconsin.