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Ex-Cat Richard Jefferson to be inducted into Pac-12 Hall of Honor

That's Richard Jefferson jumping into the arms of Justin Wessel after the 2001 Wildcats advanced to the Final Four. Photo by Ronald Martinez, Getty Images

Former Arizona forward Richard Jefferson is the Wildcats’ representative this season in the new class of inductees for the Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Hall of Honor.

Jefferson played three seasons for the Wildcats, from 1998 to 2001, ending in a national championship game appearance vs. Duke. He averaged 11.2 points and 5.0 rebounds in his Arizona career, becoming a defensive ace, too, as a junior.

He is one of 11 players and one coach who will be inducted during the conference tournament next month. The others are: Kurt Nimphius (Arizona State), Lamond Murray (California), Burdette Haldorson (Colorado), Jim Barnett (Oregon), A.C. Green (Oregon State), George Selleck (Stanford), Ed O’Bannon (UCLA), Sam Barry (USC), Arnie Ferrin (Utah), George Irvine (Washington) and Steve Puidokas (Washington State).

Arizona’s other inductees into the league’s Hall of Honor are:

Sean Elliott (2002), Steve Kerr (2003), Khalid Reeves (2004), Pete Williams (2005), Damon Stoudamire (2006), Chris Mills (2007), Miles Simon (2008), Lute Olson (2009), Mike Bibby (2010) and Michael Dickerson (2011).

Here is Jefferson’s bio from the Pac-12 news release announcing the Hall of Honor class:

Richard Jefferson, Arizona – Jefferson became one of the most prolific players in Arizona history in just three seasons with the Wildcats(1999-2001). The Arizona native was known primarily for his athleticism and posterizing dunks, but used his defensive intensity to help his team advance to the 2001 Final Four and play in the national championship game. As a freshman, Jefferson averaged 12.8 points and 5.2 rebounds per game in Pac-10 play, earning him a spot on the 1999 Pac-10 All-Freshman team. The following season, Jefferson emerged as the team’s best all-around player before suffering a broken bone in his foot midway through the season. When he was on the court, he averaged 11.0 points on .503 shooting for the 2000 Pac-10 Championship team. His third and final year, Jefferson averaged 11.3 points and 5.4 rebounds per game in leading Arizona to the 2001 NCAA championship game. Jefferson was the 13th overall pick by the Houston Rockets in the 2001 NBA Draft and was a 2002 second-team NBA all-rookie selection. He led the New Jersey Nets to back-to-back Eastern Conference titles in 2002 and 2003, and is now in his 11th year in the NBA, currently playing for the San Antonio Spurs.

Richard Jefferson

Does Richard Jefferson still have those videos he shot from the 2000 NCAA Tournament? Photo by Brian Bahr, Getty Images Sport

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