Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, who starred at LSU in the early 90s under the name Chris Jackson, will have his jersey retired this upcoming Tiger hoops season, the program announced on Monday.
Abdul-Rauf, a native of Gulfport, Miss., will become the 14th LSU athlete or coach to have his/her jersey retired, joining Pettit, Maravich, Macklin and O’Neal; football players Billy Cannon, Tommy Casanova and Jerry Stovall; women’s basketball players Seimone Augustus and Sylvia Fowles; baseball coach Skip Bertman and baseball players Ben McDonald, Eddy Furniss and Todd Walker.
“By a unanimous decision, Mahmoud now joins one of the most elite groups in college basketball - the five men’s basketball players whose jerseys LSU has retired,” said LSU Director of Athletics Scott Woodward. “He’s one of the greatest of all time at LSU and incredibly deserving of this honor.”
Abdul-Rauf was named a first-team All-American in 1989 and 1990, becoming in 1989 just the second freshman to receive first-team All-America recognition from the Associated Press. He averaged 30.2 points per game during the 1988-89 season, and he is still the only freshman in college basketball history to average over 30 points per game.
Abdul-Rauf was a two-time consensus SEC Player of the Year, and he scored in double figures in 63 of his 64 games at LSU, including over 20 points 52 times, over 30 points 28 times, over 40 points 11 times and over 50 points four times.
At the end of his collegiate career, he held the LSU all-time record for most three-point field goals made (172), and he still holds the school single-season mark for highest free-throw percentage (91 percent).
Abdul-Rauf still has a pretty slick jumpshot, as he’s shown in the Big 3 professional league, even now at the age of 50. He probably missed his era — his style of game would really fit in modern college hoops and especially the NBA.
It’s a great honor and overdue for Abdul-Rauf. Let’s remember one of his breakout performances — 53 points over the Florida Gators in 1988.