KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The University of Tennessee will retire the jersey of Chris Lofton, the SEC all-time 3-point leader, during the upcoming basketball season.
The Vols will retire Lofton’s No. 5 jersey at halftime of this season’s home game against Kentucky on Jan. 14, 2023.
A native of Maysville, Kentucky, Lofton was one of the most prolific players in Tennessee history. No player in Tennessee or SEC history has made more three-pointers in their career. Lofton earned AP All-America honors during his sophomore, junior and senior seasons at Tennessee and was named the 2007 SEC Player of the Year.
“It’s remarkable what a legacy Chris left here at Tennessee,” Vols head coach Rick Barnes said. “Since I’ve been here, I can’t count the number of fans who have told me Chris Lofton stories. And I know all too well the type of shot-maker he was in the game’s biggest moments. He’s extremely deserving of this prestigious recognition.”
Lofton overcame incredible adversity after he was diagnosed with cancer at the end of his junior year. He underwent radiation treatment ahead of his senior year before leading Tennessee to the No. 1 ranking in the AP Top-25 poll for the first time in program history and a program-record 31 wins.
His 431 career made threes also ranked third in NCAA Division I history at the time of his departure from Tennessee.
He was named the Tennessee Basketball All-Century Team in 2009 and completed his UT degree in 2010. Lofton was inducted into the Kentucky High School Basketball Hall of Fame in 2014.
Lofton becomes UT’s fifth men’s basketball player to be permanently honored in the Thompson-Boling Arena rafters. He joins Bernard King, Ernie Grunfeld, Allan Houston and Dale Ellis.
“As a recovering basketball player/coach myself—and having worked in college athletics since the early 2000s—I am extremely familiar with what an outstanding player Chris Lofton was during his time here,” Tennessee Vice Chancellor/Director of Athletics Danny White said. “Having now learned more about his incredible work ethic, the adversity he overcame and the amazing character he displayed—and continues to display—I can’t wait to experience Thompson-Boling Arena when we unveil his banner in the rafters.”