PITTSBURGH--As part of its men's basketball Centennial Celebration, Pitt will honor its three retired jersey recipients--Don Hennon, Billy Knight and Charles Smith--at halftime of Wednesday's Big East opener against Notre Dame. Tipoff for the game is at 7 p.m.
At halftime, Hennon, Knight and Smith will be introduced to the Petersen Events Center crowd while banners will be raised in their honor.
A superb shooter, Hennon was the first Pitt player to have his number retired on January 13, 1968. Hennon, who starred at Pitt from 1956-59, scored 1,814 points and averaged a school record of 24.2 points per game. A two-time All-America selection, Hennon was inducted into the Helms Athletic Foundation Hall of Fame. Hennon holds Pitt's single-game (45 points) and single-season (651 points) scoring records and was the school's all-time leading scorer for 20 years. Hennon went on to become a successful medical doctor.
An exciting all-around performer and leader, Knight guided the 1973-74 Pitt team to a 25-4 record, NCAA "Elite Eight" appearance and school record 22-game win streak. Over his three-year career from 1971-74, Knight earned consensus All-America honors, scored 1,731 career points and averaged 22.2 points and 12.0 rebounds per game. Knight went on to an 11-year All-Pro career in both the ABA and NBA. He currently serves as the NBA's Atlanta Hawks General Manager.
A four-year starter and letterwinner from 1984-88, Smith is Pitt's all-time leading scorer with 2,045 career points. He guided Pitt to two Big East regular-season titles, earning the co-championship in 1986-87 and outright title in 1987-88. Smith earned Pitt's first-ever Big East Player of the Year award in 1987-88 and was honored by the conference as its 1984-85 Big East Rookie of the Year. A member of the 1988 U.S. Olympic Team, Smith was the third pick in the 1988 NBA Draft and spent 10 seasons in the league with the Los Angeles Clippers, New York Knicks and San Antonio Spurs.
The following is more detailed information on each of the former Pitt players:
No. 10, HENNON, DON (1956-59)
5-8 ½, Guard, Wampum, Pa.
Jersey Retirement: January 13, 1968
Elected to the Helms Athletic Foundation Hall of Fame in 1970.
Two-time All-America selection (1957-58 and 1958-59).
Listed in the NCAA's "Men's Basketball Finest" publication.
Owns nine of Pitt's top-20 single-game scoring records and scored 40-plus points three times, 30-plus points 23 times and 20-plus points 52 times in his career.
Set school record with 12 consecutive games scoring over 20 points.
Three-time NABC All-Region selection (1956-57, 1957-58 and 1958-59).
Holds Pitt's season scoring records for average (26.0 ppg) and points (651) and career average (24.2 ppg).
Ranks fourth all-time on Pitt's career scoring list (1,841) after playing in just three seasons.
Needed only 38 career games to reach the 1,000 career point mark, a school record.
Scored a school record 45 points in a game at Duke as a freshman.
Selected in the 1959 NBA Draft's sixth round by the Cincinnati Royals.
No. 34, KNIGHT, BILLY (1971-74)
6-7, Forward, Braddock, Pa.
Jersey Retirement: February 20, 1989
Consensus All-America selection in 1973-74.
Led Pitt to an NCAA "Elite Eight" appearance, 25-4 record and a school-record 22 consecutive wins in 1973-74.
Two-time All-Region honoree.
Named to the 1974 NCAA Tournament All-Regional East Team.
Only player in school history to average over 20.0 points and 10.0 rebounds in each of his three varsity seasons.
Registered two 20-point/20-rebound performances in career.
One of only four Pitt players in school history to record 1,000-points, 600-rebounds and 200-assists in a career.
Played the longest professional tenure of any Pitt player (11 seasons) for several teams: Indiana Pacers, Buffalo Braves, Boston Celtics, Kansas City Kings and San Antonio Spurs.
Became Pitt's first-ever first round draft pick when he was selected by the ABA's Indiana Pacers with the 6th overall pick.
Brother Terry Knight also played at Pitt.
Currently serves as General Manager of the NBA's Atlanta Hawks.
No. 32, SMITH, CHARLES (1985-88)
6-10, Center, Bridgeport, Conn.
Jersey Retirement: March 2, 1988
Two-time All-America selection.
1988 Big East Player of the Year and two-time All-Big East First Team selection (1986-87 and 1988-89).
Named USBWA Region Player of the Year in 1987-88 and four-time All-Region selection.
Listed No. 8 on the Big East's 50 Greatest Players list.
Led Pitt to two Big East titles including its first outright regular season title in 1987-88.
Member of the 1988 United States Olympic Team.
Won a Gold Medal with the 1986 World Championship Team in Madrid, Spain.
Freshman All-America selection.
Selected in the first round of the 1988 NBA Draft with third overall pick by the Los Angeles Clippers.
Enjoyed 10-year NBA career with Los Angeles, New York and San Antonio.