Dale Ellis to get Jersey Retired

Updated: August 26, 2013

Dale Ellis

Former Tennessee basketball great and Marietta, GA native Dale Ellis is finally getting his jersey retired. My question is what took so long?

Outside of Ernie and Bernie, Dale is one of the greatest if not the greatest UT basketball player to ever laced ‘em up, and I got to witness that greatness first hand. I was a freshman in high school when my dad took me to Stokley Athletic Center on a Saturday afternoon when UT was slated to play the Joe B. Hall’s Kentucky Wildcats.

Kentucky was stacked with talent. Melvin Turpin, Jim Master, Derrick Hord, Dirk Minniefield and Charles Hurt were the Wildcat starting five. A very veteran and seasoned group.

Tyrone Beaman, Michael Brooks, Dale Ellis, Willie Burton and Rob Jones took the floor for Don DeVoe’s Vols. This appeared on paper to be a huge matchup problem for Tennessee. Still, UT won 65-63 behind a very clutch performance by Dale Ellis.

The thing that stuck out to me was that Dale Ellis was a player that never got rattled and never got out of his game. He always competed hard and came up with the big shots.

When I would eventually get the opportunity to meet Dale in person, he quickly made me feel that I could do anything I set my mind too. He was truly one of my favorites that ever played at UT, and it’s great to see him finally get his number retired after so many years.

Which brings me back to my original question, what took so long? Better late than never I guess. But in my opinion, Dale Ellis should have had this honor many years ago. How do you not honor a two time All American and longtime NBA player sooner than this?

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