Tennessee retiring number of VFL legend

Officials with the University of Tennessee announced they were retiring Chris Lofton’s jersey.
Officials with the University of Tennessee announced they were retiring Chris Lofton’s jersey.
Officials with the University of Tennessee announced they were retiring Chris Lofton’s jersey.(WVLT)
Published: Sep. 15, 2022 at 8:04 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - The basketball program at the University of Tennessee announced they are retiring legendary All-American basketball player and Vol For Life Chris Lofton’s number.

The No. 5 jersey will be retired at halftime when Tennessee hosts Kentucky on Jan. 14.

Lofton joins Bernard King, Ernie Grunfeld, Allan Houston and Dale Ellis as the fifth men’s basketball player to be permanently honored at Thompson-Boling Arena.

“As a recovering basketball player/coach myself—and having worked in college athletics since the early 2000s—I am extremely familiar with what an outstanding player Chris Lofton was during his time here,” Tennessee Vice Chancellor/Director of Athletics Danny White said. “Having now learned more about his incredible work ethic, the adversity he overcame and the amazing character he displayed—and continues to display—I can’t wait to experience Thompson-Boling Arena when we unveil his banner in the rafters.”

Lofton played for UT from 2004 to 2008 and left Knoxville as one of the most decorated players in the program’s history, according to UT Athletics.

He was diagnosed with cancer at the end of his junior season but the diagnosis didn’t become public knowledge until after his senior season. After he completed radiation treatments, he earned a spot on the 2008 Woden All-American Team and helped Tennessee reach a No. 1 ranking in the AP Top-25 Poll for the first time in program history.

“It’s remarkable what a legacy Chris left here at Tennessee,” Vols head coach Rick Barnes said. “Since I’ve been here, I can’t count the number of fans who have told me Chris Lofton stories. And I know all too well the type of shot-maker he was in the game’s biggest moments. He’s extremely deserving of this prestigious recognition.”