Dec. 26, 2008
Fans of Santa Clara great Kurt Rambis get ready to welcome him home! The Santa Clara University Athletic Department will raise and officially retire Kurt Rambis' jersey, the Broncos all-time leading scorer, during a ceremony with Rambis and his family at halftime of the Belmont game on Mon., Dec. 29. The 6 pm game is the first game of the 42nd annual Cable Car Classic at the Leavey Center.
Fans can order tickets by calling 408-554-4660 or visiting www.santaclarabroncos.com.
The first 500 fans in the game will receive a free 8 1/2 by 11 collage of Kurt Rambis. In addition, after the ceremony, Rambis will sign the card for fans.
"It goes without saying what a tremendous honor it is to have my jersey retired and raised to the rafters in a place I called home for so many years," said Rambis. "Both my time on the court and in the classroom at Santa Clara helped mold me not only into the player I became in the NBA, but into the husband, father and coach that I am today. I will treasure my years at Santa Clara forever."
"We are so honored to bring Kurt Rambis and his family back to campus to retire his jersey," said Santa Clara athletic director Dan Coonan. "Kurt means so much to so many Santa Clara fans and I hope they mark December 29th down as an important date in Bronco history to honor the all-time scoring leader. He has been such a great friend to the program and we are thrilled we were able to work with his schedule with the Lakers to bring him back for this important event."
"I am excited to make this happen for Kurt and his family. Kurt has been the all-time leading scorer since he left Santa Clara 28 years ago, went on to have a great pro career and now is a staple of the LA Lakers organization," said Bronco head basketball coach Kerry Keating. "We are proud to have him as a part of our family and appreciate all he has done to represent Santa Clara in a first class manner. Timing has been difficult through the years due to his busy schedule with the Lakers and we are happy we can make it happen on the first night of the Cable Car Classic."
During his career at Santa Clara, he scored a school-record 1,736 points from 1976-80. He was named the West Coast Conference Player of the Year in 1980 after being named the WCC Freshman of the Year in 1977. Twenty-eight years later he is still in the top 10 of the following individual career records at SCU: No. 1 in scoring (1736 points), No. 2 in rebounds (1,037), field goals made (686) and personal fouls (366); No. 3 in games started (107); No. 4 in free throws attempted (545); No. 5 with points per game (16.1) and field goals attempted (1,316); No. 8 in minutes played (3,240); and No. 9 in field goal percentage (.521) and free throws made (364). He also holds the Leavey Center record with 22 rebounds vs. Saint Mary's in the Broncos' 90-73 win over the Gaels on Feb. 5, 1977.
A three-time member of the Cable Car Classic All-Tournament team (1977-79) at Santa Clara, Rambis helped lead the Broncos to the 1977 title with an 82-79 win over Portland . A 14-year NBA veteran, Rambis went on to win four NBA titles as a member of the "Showtime" Los Angeles Lakers in the 1980s. Following his playing career, he moved to the Lakers sideline as a coach and later to the front office where he helped bring the Lakers two more NBA Championships in 2000 and 2001. Asked to join the assistant coaching staff prior to the Lakers 2002 NBA Championship season, Rambis is currently entering his seventh season on head coach Phil Jackson's bench.
Originally a third round choice of the New York Knicks in the 1980 NBA Draft (58th overall), Rambis never played with New York after being released in training camp. In 1981, due to Rambis' work ethic, head coach Pat Riley elected to add the Forum fan-favorite to the Lakers' 12-man roster. Less than two months into the season, Rambis, who had played only token minutes to that point, was thrust into the club's regular rotation after Mitch Kupchak suffered a career-threatening knee injury. He moved into the Lakers' starting lineup in January and proceeded to start 43 of the final 45 regular season games, helping propel Los Angeles to the 1982 NBA title. Over the next six seasons, Rambis continued to play an integral role in the astounding success of the Lakers, joining Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, James Worthy and Byron Scott in a star-studded lineup that produced Pacific Division titles each of his first seven years with the club.