The students wore 42. The alumni wore 42. The faculty wore 42.
With bright Spartan gold souvenir jerseys for everyone is attendance, the Fleming Gym bleachers were shining like the sun before UNCG's game vs. Chattanooga Feb. 28. Basketball standout Kyle Hines was being honored by having his jersey retired.
Kyle Hines is the fifth player in UNCG basketball history men's or women's to have their number retired. The others are Scott Hartzell, Courtney Eldridge, Melinda Goodson and Angie Polk. Photo by Scott Hoffmann / News & Record.
We felt it was an appropriate honor for one of the greatest student-athletes to not only play at UNCG, but in the Southern Conference, said Director of Athletics Nelson Bobb. Kyle has represented this university in a tremendous way.
Scott Hartzell 96, wearing a big 42, was on hand to honor Kyle. Scott had been the program's leading scorer when he graduated. His jersey was retired in 1996. He warmly congratulated Kyle, noting his realization that their jerseys would be hanging together up there, forever. That's a pretty cool thing for me, Scott said.
Kyle, a communication studies major, thanked his family and friends who'd traveled for the special night, his teammates and coaches, the students and Spartan supporters. Then he looked upward not to where his newly retired jersey hung in the rafters but to where he hoped the team would place their banner, if they could win the Southern Conference tournament. We've got one more banner to hang, he said, as the crowd roared. As it turned out, they were defeated by nationally ranked Davidson in the semifinals. But what a season it was.
Only 95 Division I men's basketball players had reached career milestones of 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds. Of those, only five (since such records have been kept) had also snagged 300 rebounds. Now there are six, with Kyle Hines' name joining Pervis Ellison, David Robinson, Alonzo Morning, Tim Duncan and Derrick Coleman.
He reached that 2,000/1,000/300 milestone on national television, as UNCG battled Davidson on ESPN2.
42! 42! 42! the students cheered as Kyle was introduced the night of the Chattanooga game. He had put up big numbers for four years. And he made a big contribution later that evening as they won. They finished the regular season with 18 wins, 11 losses.
What a wonderful way to ride off into a golden sunset.