Rod Thorn to Have Jersey Retired

WOAY – West Virginia announced Thursday they will be retiring the jersey of former Mountaineer star Rod Thorn during the February 29 game against Oklahoma.

Thorn’s #44 jersey will be the third number retired in West Virginia history, following Jerry West’s #44 in 2005 and Hot Rod Hundley’s #33 in 2010.

Thorn, who was born in Weirton but grew up in Princeton, averaged 21.8 points per game in three seasons with the Mountaineers (1961-63). He was a two-time Southern Conference Athlete of the Year, and also played first baseman on the WVU baseball team. Thorn played professional basketball for eight years before becoming an executive; as general manager for the Chicago Bulls, he was instrumental in the team picking Michael Jordan third overall in the 1984 NBA Draft.

Thorn is a 1992 inductee into the WVU Sports Hall of Fame and a 2018 inductee into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. In July 2019, he was the keynote at the Southern West Virginia Sports Legends banquet in Beckley.