Legendary UCLA coach John Wooden once described his ideal player as “a good student, polite, courteous, a good team player, a good defensive player and rebounder, a good inside player and outside shooter. Why not just take Jamaal Wilkes…”
Known by his nickname, “Silk,” due to his smooth play on the court, Wilkes was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame last year. UCLA followed suit on Thursday night in Westwood, retiring Wilkes’ number 52 in a festive ceremony at halftime during the No. 24 Bruins’ 74-64 win over Oregon State. Here’s a standout moment from the event.
Wilkes played at UCLA from 1971-1974, earning first team All-American honors twice and Academic All-American honors three times, while serving as a key member of two NCAA championship squads under coach Wooden. He went on to a fruitful 12-year career in the NBA, winning the Rookie of the Year Award in 1975 as a member of the championship-winning Golden State Warriors. He also won three more NBA championships as a member of the “Showtime” Lakers in 1980, 1982 and 1985 and was a three-time All-Star.