Derrick Chievous’ No. 3 added to Mizzou Arena rafters

The men’s basketball program’s all-time leading scorer saw his jersey retired after the first half of Missouri’s game against No. 4 Kentucky on Tuesday night.
MU's all-time leading scorer Derrick Chievous walks to mid-court at halftime of the Missouri vs. Kentucky men's basketball game on Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019 at Mizzou Arena in Columbia, Mo.

Derrick Chievous stepped to mid-court at halftime of Tuesday’s Missouri versus No. 4 Kentucky game with his family, greeted by a standing ovation and the glow of fire spewing from the Mizzou Arena goal posts.

After Missouri Athletic Director Jim Sterk gifted Chievous with a replica jersey, fans were directed to turn their attention to the rafters, where a Chievous No. 3 banner was unveiled.

He joins the ranks of players Jon Sundvold, Willie Smith, Doug Smith, Steve Stipanovich, Bill Stauffer and Norm Stewart – also his former coach – who’ve had their numbers retired at Mizzou Arena.

"Derrick Chievous enjoyed one of the greatest careers ever in a Mizzou basketball uniform,” Sterk said earlier this month in a press release. "[He] is most-deserving of this honor.”

The Missouri team kicked off the honoring of Chievous with warmup shirts, featuring his name and number, as well as boasting an old school block “M” on the front.

While redshirt junior Ronnie Suggs has worn No. 3 this season for Missouri, the number will officially be retired at the conclusion of the season.

“They haven’t said anything about it yet, so I’m just gonna continue to wear it until they say something,” Suggs said. “If I have to switch, I’ll switch. He’s a great player.”

Previously inducted into the Mizzou Hall of Fame in 1996, Chievous has been Missouri’s all-time leading scorer since ending his collegiate career. He scored 2,580 points across 82 games under coach Stewart.

“The University of Missouri is proud of you, and I know you’re proud of the University of Missouri,” Stewart said in a video prior to Chievous taking the court Tuesday night.

Chievous also holds the records for single-season points, 821; career scoring average,19.9 PPG; career free throws made, 784; and single-season free throws made, 244.

During the 1984 season, Chievous was a freshman All-American and went on to earn a consensus second team All-American nod in 1987, as well as all-conference that year and in 1988. Missouri honored him as its most valuable player twice in his career.

In ‘87, Chievous led the Tigers to a 24-10 overall record and a 11-3 conference mark, as well as a Big 8 Championship and a Big 8 Tournament title. He averaged 24.1 points as captain that season, setting the third-highest scoring average ever by a player in a single Missouri season.

He was selected 16th overall in the first round of the 1988 NBA Draft by the Houston Rockets and played three years in the NBA with the Rockets and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

In a brief press conference following his honoring, Chievous was in high spirits, but spent more time talking about the people who helped him reach this point.

“It’s never been about me,” Chievous said. “I’m blessed to meet so many important people that are still in my life.”

Edited by Adam Cole | acole@themaneater.com

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