Malcolm Brogdon helped lift Virginia back to national prominence during his career. On Monday, his number found a lofty place worthy of those accomplishments.
UVA retired Brogdon’s No. 15 at the John Paul Jones Arena and the always humble star from Georgia quickly shared the spotlight. He is the first player in the Tony Bennett era to be honored in the rafters.
“I think it’s an amazing moment in my life right now, an amazing moment in my family’s life,” Brogdon said. “I think it’s a moment that speaks to everybody that sacrificed for me to get here. My mom. My brothers. I think it’s a moment everybody around me should enjoy, not just me. I think it speaks to Coach Bennett and my former teammates. I’m grateful to have this opportunity.”
Brogdon became only the eighth player in program history to have his number retired. He joined 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).
”It’s a huge accomplishment to even be mentioned in the same breath with those guys, especially Ralph Sampson,” said Brogdon, who noted that he has built a relationship with many of those players including Sampson, Parkhill, Walker, and Singletary.
Of course, Brogdon earned his spot in the history books. He helped UVA win a double ACC Championship in 2014, the program’s first outright regular season title since the Ralph Sampson era and only the second ACC Tournament title ever. The Hoos also won another outright regular season crown and posted back-to-back 30-win seasons too. Brogdon won 111 times in the four years he played.
The Cavaliers reached the NCAA Tournament in all four years he played (he missed one season to rehab after foot surgery) and Virginia advanced to the Elite 8 and Sweet 16 in two years.
Individually, Brogdon put up some impressive numbers 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. He finished his career 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.
As a result, lots of recognition poured in during his career. As a senior, 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 became one of only 10 players in UVA history to earn All-American recognition and one of just five to reach that level twice: Parkhill, Lamp, Sampson, Stith, and Brogdon.
”Leaving a legacy was something I really wanted to do at UVA,” Brogdon said. ”I think I’ve accomplished that and I can’t be more grateful.”
Watch Brogdon’s number ceremony below and his press conference here: