Frank Kaminsky to retire jersey at Wisconsin Badgers game

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

As one of the most decorated Wisconsin basketball alumnus in school history, Frank Kaminsky will retire his jersey at the Badgers game, Thursday night.

Three years after “retiring” from UW basketball, Frank Kaminsky, former center and team leader, will hang his No. 44 jersey from the rafters in a ceremony held at the Badgers game against Purdue, Feb. 15, Thursday night.

The game’s tipoff will be at 6 p.m. CST, with a pregame display to start on the court at 5:40 p.m. CST. The ceremony will take place during halftime at the Kohl Center.

Kaminsky had to travel far athletically to get where he is, today. Starting out as an overlooked recruit, Kaminsky almost never made it to Wisconsin, but with help of AAU Chicago area coach Steve Pratt, Kaminsky was able to land a spot on the roster after assistant coach Howard Moore decided to take a second peek.

The 7-foot recruit was benched for the first half of his time at Madison; starting out uncomfortable on the floor with his back turned to the basket, and his toughness coming into question multiple times by coaching staff.

The more comfortable Kaminsky got, however, the more clear it became he was where he belonged.

As a junior, Kaminsky made first-team All-Big Ten on a team that reached the Final Four. Also during that year, he broke the UW single-game record for points in a game at forty-three.

In a stellar senior year, Kaminsky was a consensus National Player of the Year; only the third Big Ten Player of the Year in program history.

Frank “The Tank” Kaminsky also helped his team achieve Big Ten regular season and tournament titles in 2015, leading the team in points, rebounds, assists, blocks, field goal percentage, three-point field goal percentage, free throws, and free throw attempts. He was detrimental in leading the team to the 2015 National Championship Game, that season.

He’s the second player in Wisconsin history to post 1,000 points, 500 rebounds, and 100 blocks during his stay. He also holds the school’s career blocks record for 153 rejections.

In the 2015 NBA draft, Kaminsky was picked in the first round, ninth overall, by the Charlotte Hornets, becoming the highest drafted Badger and the first NBA Lottery pick from UW since Devin Harris was chosen No. 5 overall, in 2004.

During his three years at Charlotte, Kaminsky has played in 179 games, with an average of 9.6 points and 4.3 rebounds per game.

Kaminsky will travel to Madison during the NBA All-Star Break to take part in “Frank Kaminsky Night” at the Kohl Center, Thursday. His number is only the second to be hung from the rafters, right next to Ab Nicholas’ No. 8 jersey.

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No. 44 will remain in circulation at Wisconsin, but it will forever be associated with “The Tank”.