Barksdale’s jersey to be retired

Former UCLA basketball standout Don Barksdale will be honored posthumously at halftime today after UCLA tips off against Washington at 6 p.m. (ESPN), his No. 11 jersey joining nine others in the Pauley Pavilion rafters. Barksdale was the first African-American to be named an NCAA All-American (1947), the first to make an Olympic basketball team (1948) and the first to play in an NBA All-Star game (1953).

The 6-foot-6 forward/center played for the NBA’s Baltimore Bullets and Boston Celtics before ankle injuries cut his career short in 1955. He was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame as a contributor last February, almost 19 years after he died of throat cancer at age 69.

Barksdale’s jersey retirement is the third this season, after Jamaal Wilkes’ No. 52 and Reggie Miller’s No. 31 were both unveiled last month.

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  • BC

    I’ve been watching UCLA basketball for over 40 years and can’t agree more with Bill Walton assessment about being embarrassed for the basketball program, the attendance, the type of play Ben Howland has these five star athletes playing. My question to you Jack is where are the over thirty thousand students and how much money are they charging to get into these games. The spirit of the basketball program down right sucks. I’m attending CSU basketball games this season and the play and atmosphere is ten times more fun than what a great school like UCLA is providing. Why would any great recruit want to play for Ben Howland after this season. Take a look at what coach Mora’s done with the football program and make that same kind of change. Lower the ticket prices, change the TV camera angle to show the students like all of the other schools.