Herb Sendek announced Monday afternoon that former Sun Devil James Harden's No. 13 jersey will be raised to the Wells Fargo Arena rafters on Feb. 18, 2015.
Harden played at Arizona State for two seasons during the 2007-08 and 2008-09 seasons. He averaged 17.8 points per game his freshman year and 20.1 points per game during his sophomore campaign, leading the team to the second round of the NCAA Tournament in his second year. He was also the first Sun Devil to earn consensus first team All-American honors in 2008-09. He was also only the third Arizona State player to ever win Pac-10 player of the year.
"To have my number hung from the rafters with the likes of Olympic gold medalists and NBA champions will be one of the best moments of my life," Harden said in a statement. " I want to thank the Arizona State student section for always bringing such incredible energy to each game. My family and friends and I look forward to being a part of that enthusiasm when I am fortunate enough to have my number 13 honored that evening."
He was one of only five players in the history of the Pac-10 to lead the conference in both points and steals per game. Harden is also one of four Sun Devils to score 40 points in a game. His career scoring average of 19 points per game ranks third all-time at Arizona State.
"We are proud of all James accomplished while he was at Arizona State," head coach Herb Sendek said in a statement. "He was so focused and driven to continue to improve and get better every day."
Arizona State will play UCLA at 7p.m. on ESPN2 and Harden will be in attendance that night. He joins Eddie House (5), Joe Caldwell (32), Byron Scott (11), Lionel Hollins (33) and Fat Lever (12) in the rafters. Harden also went to Artesia High School in Lakewood, California only a 45-minute drive from the UCLA campus so the night will certainly hold even more meaning in that respect.
Harden was the third pick in the 2009 NBA Draft by the Oklahoma City Thunder where he averaged 12.7 points per game in three seasons, winning the NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award in 2011-12. He was then traded to the Houston Rockets where he has had a more prominent role averaging 25.6 points and six assists now in his third season there.