Men's Basketball - Mon, Jan. 10, 2005
CHICAGO - Gary Hickerson, a former standout basketball player at Saint Xavier University in the early 1970's, will have his jersey and number (#35) formally retired in a special ceremony held at halftime of the 7 p.m. SXU men's basketball game against University of St. Francis (Ill.) on Wednesday, January 26. The event will take place in the main arena of the Shannon Center located on the Chicago campus of Saint Xavier University and a reception will be held immediately following the ceremony in the Hall of Fame room, also located in the Shannon Center.
"Many of our alumni and fans are looking forward to this night as it is long overdue," said Saint Xavier University Athletics Director Bob Hallberg. "When looking back at the history of the SXU athletics program, recruiting a student-athlete of Gary Hickerson's caliber back in the fall of 1971 helped open the door for plenty of other talented prep players in the area looking to play at the collegiate level. This ceremony should bring back a lot of fond memories for old teammates and friends of Saint Xavier men's basketball."
Hickerson, who was inducted into SXU's Athletic Hall of Fame in 1990, remains third on the school's all-time career scoring list after nearly 30 years with 2,245 points and still sits atop Saint Xavier's career rebounding list with 1,187 caroms. One aspect that makes Hickerson's scoring accomplishment so impressive is that it was established during an era that did not include the three-point shot. Hickerson played from 1971-1975 and is considered the first four-year "superstar" in the program's history.
During his career at SXU, Hickerson helped lead the Cougars to 86 victories over a four-year span and averaged 18.8 points and 9.9 rebounds a game. He was named a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) All-American and was a three-time NAIA All-District selection. Against Northern Illinois University on February 10, 1973, Hickerson turned in arguably one of the best single-game performances by any Saint Xavier basketball players in history turning in 40 points and 22 rebounds.