I never thought I'd be in a situation where I'd have my jersey retired, but I'm thankful," the soft-spoken Bibby said. "It's a great honor."
Given Bibby's on-court resume, his place with Sean Elliott and Steve Kerr was all but assured. He scored 22 points against North Carolina in his collegiate debut, and concluded that inaugural season as the first freshman point guard in NCAA history to guide his team to a national title. He was the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year in 1997 and the conference Player of the Year in 1998.
From there he became the No. 2 pick in the NBA Draft, the highest Wildcat ever selected, but his career blossomed with a trade to Sacramento, where he has become one of the game's premier point guards.
"Sacramento is the same way it is here. The fans always have your back," Bibby said. "I was put in the same situation there as here. I got lucky."
Luck is not the term most often used to describe Bibby. Selflessness is more applicable.
"I don't think there's a more unselfish player, a more giving player than Mike Bibby," Arizona Coach Lute Olson said. "He always found the open man, but if it got into a position where he had to take the shot, he'd knock it down. We're so proud of what you did here, but we're also proud of how you represent this great university with the Sacramento Kings."