One of Illinois’ all-time greats is getting his jersey honored next month.
Illinois has announced that the Jan. 6 game against Maryland will be “Ayo Night,” featuring a ceremony to raise Ayo Dosunmu’s No. 11 jersey into the State Farm Center rafters.
It goes without saying that Dosunmu was one of the best Illini to ever put a jersey on — but what makes his story special is that he helped put Illinois back on a national map and return Illinois back into a perennial tournament team. Not to mention, he did it all as a Chicago boy for the team he grew up watching.
Dosunmu will become the 34th player in Illini history to have his jersey retired. Career wise, he finished 15th all-time in points and is the all-time leading scorer in Illini history for players who played only three seasons.
The accolades are numerous for Dosunmu. Just last season, he was a first team All-Big Ten player, a First-Team All-American, USA Today’s National Player of the Year, the Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year and became the school’s all-time triple-double leader. He also averaged 20.1 points, 6.3 rebounds and 5.3 assists last season, becoming the first NCAA player in 11 years to average at least 20 points, six rebounds and five assists for a season.
To have a jersey honored in the rafters, a player must meet one of seven criteria (which can be found here). Dosunmu was named National Player of the Year and a consensus First- or Second-Team All-American. Current big man Kofi Cockburn has already met the criteria, as well.
A Chicago native, Dosunmu was drafted in the second round by the Chicago Bulls, and is enjoying an impressive start to his career — including his first ever start earlier this week. He scored 11 points and added eight assists and six rebounds in a Bulls win.
Dosunmu did return to State Farm Center in November to receive his Big Ten Tournament Championship ring, but he will be back in Champaign on Jan. 6 for his full celebration.