When Malcolm Brogdon wrapped up his Virginia career in March, a count of all that he accomplished brought home a clear message: his number needed to be retired. UVA made that step official Thursday when it announced that the program would retire No. 15 on Feb. 20, 2017.
Yes, President’s Day.
That’s fitting for a player that earned the nickname ‘President’ in both Charlottesville and now Milwaukee thanks to his life goals, academic success, and general demeanor. The Cavaliers host Miami at 7 p.m. on ESPN that Monday.
Brogdon joins Jeff Lamp (3), Barry Parkhill (40), Ralph Sampson (50), Sean Singletary (44), Bryant Stith (20), Wally Walker (41), and Buzzy Wilkinson (14) as players whose number will not be worn again. (This differs from jersey retirement wear only the jersey is honored and not the number).
“I remember the very first time I watched Malcolm play. I was convinced he could be special,” Virginia coach Tony Bennett said in a news release. “I just knew if we were fortunate enough to get Malcolm to attend UVA he could lead our program to great heights and have a special career. I’ve never coached a player with the drive and dedication to be the best he could be quite like Malcolm. He also represented everything that is right about being a true student-athlete. What a model for making an impact on the court, in the classroom and the community. I couldn’t be any happier than to see No. 15 raised to the rafters.”
Bennett’s thoughts about Brogdon on the recruiting trail played out as he hoped. Brogdon helped lead Virginia to a double ACC Championship in 2014, the program’s first outright regular season title crown since the days of Ralph Sampson and only the second ACC Tournament title ever. UVA also captured another regular season title and won 30 games in back-to-back years as well. The Hoos made the NCAA Tournament in all four years that Brogdon played – he missed one season to rehab after foot surgery – and advanced to the Elite 8 and Sweet 16 in two of those years. Over the final three years of his career, the Cavaliers won 89 games. He won 111 times in the four years he played.
Brogdon’s individual accomplishments are impressive as well. He finished as the school record holder for free throw shooting percentage (87.6%). He also ranked in the top 10 all-time at UVA with 1,809 points (9th all-time), 136 games played (2nd), 4,157 minutes played (5th), 185 3-pointers (7th), and 422 free throws (9th). He also ended up at 36.5% in 3-point field goal percentage (6th). Brogdon led the team in scoring for three straight years, averaging 18.2 points per game in his final year. As a senior, he posted 18 games with at least 20 points, the first player to do that since Norman Nolan back in 1997-98.
Brogdon ended up with more than 1,800 points (1,809), 500 rebounds (563), 300 assists (335), and 100 steals (117). He threw in 31 blocked shots too.
All of that production and team success led to numerous honors for Brogdon as well. He was named the ACC Player of the Year and ACC Defensive Player of the Year in the same season. He drew first-team All-ACC honors three times and received All-American recognition in back-to-back years as well. In 2016, Brogdon earned consensus first-team All-American honors his final season from the Associated Press, the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC), the United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA), and the Sporting News magazine. He joined Ralph Sampson as the only player in school history to receive a first-team spot from the AP and consensus status.
Brogdon is one of just 10 players in UVA history to earn All-American recognition and one of just five to reach that level twice: Parkhill, Lamp, Ralph Sampson, Stith, and Brogdon. He is also one of just four players to receive first-team All-American honors along with Wilkinson, Parkhill, and Lamp. He helped the team win only its second ACC Tournament title and led the team on its deepest NCAA Tournament run since 1995.
Ultimately, all of the accomplishments added together made the choice to retire No. 15 an easy one.
A letter from Malcolm Brogdon, courtesy VirginiaSports.com:
I am honored and grateful to learn that UVA Basketball No. 15 will be retired. I am humbled to join the exceptional players and men whose numbers have been retired. These men are inspirations to me and represent the best of UVA Basketball.
It was a privilege to be a part of the UVA Basketball Program that aspired to greatness through the five pillars set by head coach Tony Bennett: Humility, Passion, Unity, Servanthood, and Thankfulness. These principles have become cornerstones of my life and have served me well as a basketball player and person.
I want to thank Coach Bennett and the entire coaching staff, my teammates, UVA faculty, staff, and students, as well as each individual who supported the University of Virginia and UVA basketball during my time at the University.
I am truly grateful to the coaches who developed me as a player and person, and to my teammates who became friends and brothers.
I am appreciative of the faculty who challenged and supported me, as well as each staff person who supported me during times of challenge, had a kind word when I needed one, and who continue to work to make the University great.
While at UVA, I met some of the finest women and men anywhere. It was an honor to attend such a great university and to learn and grow with fellow students.
Finally, to all of the individuals who supported the UVA Basketball Program, it was a joy to play for you. Your support over the years made all of our achievements possible.
Thank you for this great honor.