Brunson, Wright To Be Honored At DePaul Game


Courtesy of Villanova Athletics

Jalen Brunson averaged 14.4 PPG during his time at Villanova.

Owen Hewitt, Co-Sports Editor

Villanova is set to retire the jersey of former Villanova guard and current New York Knick Jalen Brunson. The ceremony will take place during halftime of the Wildcats’ game against DePaul on Wednesday. Former Villanova head coach Jay Wright will also be honored pre-game.

Brunson, a part of two national championship teams during his time at Villanova, will have his No. 1 jersey retired. Brunson played from 2015 to 2018, starting in 115 games for the Wildcats across three seasons.

In his final year with the ‘Cats, Brunson racked up honors: for the 2017-18 season, he was awarded the Naismith Award, the Wooden Award and the Bob Cousy Award, while also being named the National Player of the Year. He is the second Wildcat to earn National Player of the Year honors, along with Paul Arizin.

Apart from the No. 11, retired outright in honor of Arizin, Villanova retires the jerseys, not numbers, of former players. This means that freshman guard Brendan Hausen, who currently wears No. 1, will continue to do so.

Brunson led the 2017-18 national championship charge averaging a team-leading 18.9 points per game, while adding an average of 4.6 assists per game. Brunson was also voted “College Player of the 2010s” by the Sporting News.

“Jalen put together one of the most amazing Villanova Basketball careers ever,” Villanova head coach Kyle Neptune said to Villanova Athletics. “His remarkable will and work ethic left an indelible mark on our program. He set a standard of excellence, on and off the court, that still impacts us today. We can’t wait to celebrate Jalen’s legendary Villanova career with the Nova Nation.”

Neptune served as an assistant coach for the entirety of Brunson’s time with Villanova.

The athletic department is encouraging fans to be in their seats by 8 P.M. to see Wright’s address.

“We felt this would be a wonderful opportunity for Jay to express his gratitude to the Nova Nation and in turn for it to salute his incredible run as our head men’s basketball coach,” Villanova Vice-President and Director of Athletics Mark Jackson said to Villanova Athletics. “This is simply our chance to say thank you to Jay and Patty Wright for their enormous contributions to Villanova.”

After Brunson’s time representing Villanova, he was drafted in the 2018 NBA draft by the Dallas Mavericks with the 33rd overall pick in the second round. He spent four seasons with the Mavericks, earning a starting role with the team.

In the 2022 offseason, Brunson entered free agency and signed a four-year, 104 million dollar contract with the New York Knicks. Through 51 games, Brunson has been averaging a career-high 23.1 points per game.

In effort to honor both Brunson and Wright, fans in attendance will be encouraged to stay in their seats during halftime to watch the ceremony for Brunson.