Georgia Tech to retire jersey of basketball great Dennis Scott

Former Orlando Magic player Dennis Scott, known as 3D, is inducted into the Orlando Magic Hall of Fame by CEO Alex Martins during the first half of the Orlando Magic vs. New York Knicks NBA basketball game, Thursday, March 23, 2023, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Kevin Kolczynski)

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

Former Orlando Magic player Dennis Scott, known as 3D, is inducted into the Orlando Magic Hall of Fame by CEO Alex Martins during the first half of the Orlando Magic vs. New York Knicks NBA basketball game, Thursday, March 23, 2023, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Kevin Kolczynski)

Dennis Scott’s No. 4 is going to hang from the rafters.

Georgia Tech coach Damon Stoudamire and athletic director J Batt surprised Scott on Thursday live on NBA TV by announcing to the Yellow Jackets legend that he will have his number retired this season. Scott will become the seventh former Tech player to have his number retired by the program joining No. 15 Matt Harpring, No. 20 Tom Hammonds, No. 21 Roger Kaiser, No. 22 John Salley, No. 25 Mark Price and No. 40 Rich Yunkus.

“Hey man, I just want to say, today is a special day,” Stoudamire said. “We’re here to let you know that as one of the DMV’s finest, Flint Hill’s finest and one of the best to ever do it at Tech, we’re gonna put your name in the rafters.”

Coaches John Hyder and Bobby Cremins and former radio voice Al Ciraldo also have banners hanging in McCamish Pavilion recognizing their respective contributions to Tech basketball.

Scott, who received his undergraduate degree from Tech in December, has previously been inducted into the Orlando Magic hall of fame, a hall of fame for Washington D.C. sports and had his No. 24 retired by Flint (Virginia) High School. He came to Tech in 1987 and averaged 15.5 points per game as a freshman, 20.3 as a sophomore and 27.7 as a junior.

The ACC player of the year in 1990, Scott helped the Jackets reach the Final Four that season before becoming the No. 4 overall pick by Orlando later that year in the NBA Draft.

“I loved basketball. I played basketball because I loved it,” Scott told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Thursday. “I picked Georgia Tech because of Bobby Cremins and the southern hospitality and the love the Georgia Tech family showed me when I was 18 years old. I left school early because I wanted to take care of my mom because my mom was working three jobs just to feed me.

“The fact that now it has come full circle that I can complete here dream, to come back and tell the story where people believe in each other and you can complete the mission.”

Scott spent 11 seasons in the NBA playing for Orlando, Dallas, Phoenix, New York, Minnesota and Vancouver, respectively. He was named to the NBA’s all-rookie team in 1991.

“It’s all because of my mom saying that she wanted to se No. 4 in the rafters,” Scott added. “I said, ‘Well, mom, Georgia Tech is like most serious institutions and you have to be a student-athlete and gone back to school.’ And she said, ‘Well can you go back to school before I pass away?’ When she put it on me that way and she’s 81 years old you’re like, ‘Dang, do I have enough time? It’ll kill me if don’t graduate and she passes away on me.’

“She saw me graduate so now the pressure’s back off me and back on the school. It’s a win-win for everybody. It’s one of the few situations in life where we can see a situation and it’s a win-win-win for the school, for the alumni, for the executive program, for Scheller (College of Business), for future young kids coming to Georgia Tech, for recruits now that if you are lucky enough to leave early like I did that the door is still open to always come back to finish your education as long as you’re going to put your best foot forward.”

Scott’s number retirement is the first for Tech since Harpring’s in 1998.

“I know it’s something that he’s wanted for a long time,” Stoudamire said. “I remember watching Dennis way back on when on that great Tech team (in 1990) and competing against Dennis in the NBA. For him to finally get his jersey retired is something I know he’s gonna be really proud of and is deserving.”