St. Bonaventure will retire the jersey of basketball great Greg Sanders during a ceremony on Dec. 3, the university announced Monday.
Sanders, who wore No. 53, is Bona’s all-time leading scorer with 2,238 points. He helped lead the Bonnies to the 1977 National Invitational Tournament title.
The jersey retirement, along with a ceremony to honor the entire Bonnies NIT title team, will take place during Bona’s home game against the University at Buffalo, which tips off at 4 p.m. at the Reilly Center.
Bona captured the NIT title in March of 1977 at Madison Square Garden, topping Houston, 94-91. Sanders scored 40 points and was named the Most Valuable Player of the NIT.
Bona previously retired nine numbers worn by 10 players. They are: Ken Murray (13), Bill Butler (14), Sam Stith (22), Earl Belcher/Hollis (25), Bob Lanier (31), Whitey Martin (34), Tom Stith (42), Andrew Nicholson (44) and Fred Crawford (54).
Sanders had gone out of touch with the Bona community for the past several decades. A feature story on the Bona fan site The Bona Blog by Vinny Pezzimenti helped to reconnect him with university officials. Sanders survived a stroke more than a decade ago. He reported he was working in real estate and doing photography in the Washington, D.C., area.
Bona reports the entire coaching staff of the 1976-77 Bonnies will be on hand -- head coach Jim Satalin and assistant coaches Bob Sassone and Bill Kalbaugh. In addition to Sanders, his former teammates Essie Hollis, Jim Baron, Delmar Harrod, Glenn Hagan, Dan Viglianco, Tim Waterman, Nick Urzetta, Jim Elenz and Bruno DeGiglio are expected to attend.