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Frank Kaminsky's #44 to be retired by Wisconsin

February 15 will be officially named “Frank Kaminsky Night” in Madison. The 2015 consensus National Player of the Year will be in attendance for the Badgers’ men’s basketball game against Purdue and the University of the Wisconsin will officially retire his No. 44 jersey during a halftime ceremony.

Kaminsky, who is in his third season with the Charlotte Hornets, will travel to Madison during the NBA All-Star Break to take part in the celebration. The No. 44 will be just the second number to hang in the Kohl Center rafters alongside Ab Nicholas’ No. 8. The No. 44 will remain in circulation at Wisconsin, but Kaminsky’s name and number will be forever celebrated.

“When I committed to play at Wisconsin, I had big dreams about what my time on campus would be like,” Kaminsky said. “Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine having my number hanging in the Kohl Center rafters. I’m truly honored by this recognition and I can’t wait to come back to Madison in February. My hope is that my number can serve as a symbol of all the great teammates, coaches and staff members I was lucky enough to be around every day, but also the best fans in the world who supported us during our run. This is truly a dream come true.”

“We are thrilled that Frank will be back in the Kohl Center for this special recognition of all that he accomplished as a student-athlete,” director of athletics Barry Alvarez said. “His years with our basketball program were truly special and I am very pleased that we will be able to honor him in this way.”

The first player in Wisconsin history to win the Wooden Award, Naismith Trophy, Oscar Robertson Trophy and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award, Kaminsky was also named 2015 National Player of the Year by the Associated Press, Sporting News and USA Today. A consensus first-team All-American, Kaminsky became just the third Big Ten Player of the Year in program history.

Simply put, Frank “The Tank” Kaminsky did it all for Wisconsin, driving the Badgers to Big Ten regular season and tournament titles in 2015, plus the 2014 Final Four and the 2015 National Championship Game. The Lisle, Illinois, native led UW in nearly every major category: points, rebounds, assists, blocks, field goal percentage, 3-point field goal percentage, free throws and free throw attempts in his senior season.

One of the most versatile big men in college basketball, Kaminsky became just the second player in Wisconsin history to post 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 100 blocks during his career. Holding the UW single-game record for points in a game (43) from his junior season, Kaminsky also became UW's career blocks leader with 153 rejections.

Kaminsky was selected ninth overall in the 2015 NBA Draft by the Charlotte Hornets, becoming the highest drafted Badger and the first NBA Lottery pick from UW since Devin Harris went No. 5 overall in 2004. Kaminsky has appeared in 179 games in three seasons with the Hornets, averaging 9.6 points and 4.3 rebounds per game.

Photo: Getty Images

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