The Coleumn: Who should be the next member of the Huskies of Honor? 

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This past Saturday, UConn inducted Harrison “Honey” Fitch, the first African American player on the men’s basketball team, into the Huskies of Honor. The Huskies of Honor is a prestigious program recognizing the most significant athletes in UConn’s illustrious history. 

It’s always amazing to see someone inducted into the Huskies of Honor, but who should be the next inductee? There are several names to choose from, but here are my top suggestions. 

Ben Gordon (2001-2004) 

If Emeka Okafor was Shaquille O’Neal, then Gordon was Kobe Bryant. While Okafor was averaging a double-double per game, Gordon was hitting the three-ball, shooting over 40% from beyond the arc. His junior season involved many accolades: NCAA All-Tourney Team, All-Region Team, All Big East First Team, Big East Tournament Team and Tournament MVP. Even without winning Big East Player of the Year (which went to Okafor), Gordon flashed enough potential to be selected third in the NBA draft by the Chicago Bulls. 

This induction is bound to happen, but Gordon has to get back on campus first. 

AJ Price (2006-2009) 

Despite a Final Four appearance, the 2009 Huskies are one of the most underrated teams in UConn history. Price was their backbone, becoming the star guard after Rudy Gay went pro. What started with a 9.4 PPG freshman season turned into back-to-back 14 PPG and 4+ APG campaigns leading to 2 All-Big East Honors and a 2009 All-Big East Tournament Team selection. Like Gordon, Price was dangerous from the three, shooting over 40% in all three of his seasons. Price was selected 52nd overall by the Indiana Pacers in 2009. 

He was no Gordon, but Price’s contributions to UConn’s sustained success in the late 2000s should not be forgotten. 

Hasheem Thabeet (2006-2009) 

While Price brought the offense, Thabeet provided the beats and the defense. The two-time Big East Defensive Player of the Year and two-time NABC Defensive Player of the Year was a force, averaging 4.2 rejections a game and 8.5 RPG in his career. He still brought an offensive skill set, scoring over 10 PPG twice, leading to two All-Big East selections and a Second-Team All-American selection. The 2009 season rose his draft stock tremendously as he averaged 13.6 PPG, 10.8 RPG and 4.2 BPG. 

For a second overall pick, many call him one of the biggest busts in NBA history. The Huskies of Honor focuses on the success of a player while enrolled at UConn, which is where Thabeet thrived as a lockdown defender. 

Ryan Boatright (2011-2015) 

When you bring up the 2014 National Champion team, everyone recalls Shabazz Napier, beating Florida twice. What people don’t recognize in their recollection is Napier’s right-hand man, someone who lived in the shadows for most of his career. 

Boatright did not win as many accolades as other UConn alumni, but he was a productive point-machine, leading the American Athletic Conference with 17.4 points per game and 592 total points in his senior season. A career 41.6% shooter from the field, Boatright showcased his production every game, averaging double figures in all four seasons. Although he went undrafted, Boatright left a memorable winning legacy at UConn and a selection to the 2014 NCAA All-Tournament Team. 

James Bouknight (2019-2021) 

If Cliff Robinson was UConn’s first legendary player under Jim Calhoun, then Bouknight was Dan Hurley’s first Husky star. Bouknight had a wild freshman season, averaging 13 PPG and 4.1 RPG while being named to the All-AAC Third Team and AAC All-Freshman Team. One offseason and a new conference later, Bouknight became the team’s best player. In 15 games, Bouknight averaged 18.7 PPG, 5.7 RPG and shot 44.7% from the field, finishing on the All-Big East First Team. During his two seasons, he threw down incredible dunks and made highlight-reel plays on both ends of the court. 

Bouknight became the first lottery pick for the Huskies since Andre Drummond last season and continues to be loved by the Husky community to this day, whether it’s by the students or by the fans. 

Jeremy Lamb (2010-2012) 

Because I mentioned Bouknight, I have to mention another two-year Husky wonder not yet inducted. Lamb averaged 11.1 PPG while shooting 48.7% from the field as Kemba Walker’s wingman, earning a selection on the Big East All-Freshman Team and All-Big East Tournament Team. Lamb worked alongside Walker to form one of the deadliest backcourts in 2011 and followed that up in 2012 by being the main guard. His sophomore season saw major improvements, including 17.7 PPG (No. 3 in the Big East), 4.9 RPG and 1.2 SPG, earning him a spot on the All-Big East First Team.  

Lamb went 12th overall to the Houston Rockets that season, paving the way for Napier to take center stage. 

Dan Hurley (2018- Present) 

Four years ago, Hurley took the vacant UConn coaching job and envisioned “a championship culture.” The first signs appeared the following season behind stars like Bouknight and Christian Vital. The Huskies won five straight games, including a senior night victory against then No. 21 Houston at Gampel, before COVID-19 cancelled the postseason. The real turning point came after a loss to Villanova on January 18, 2020, when Hurley infamously said, “It’s coming.” 

That’s been the team’s mantra, and it’s led to a NCAA Tournament appearance, a double overtime win against Auburn, commitments from big-name recruits and the return of UConn basketball dominance. Tuesday night’s upset of No. 8 Villanova further solidified his status as a great leader, even if he only coached for 15 minutes before getting ejected. If he wins a national title, this induction’s a lock. 

Each of these names has a great chance to get into the Huskies of Honor within the next five years, especially with the direction this program is trending toward. Recognizing some of the past greats in UConn history will fuel the current generation to match that level of success every season.  

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