LSU to retire jersey of Gulfport High basketball Legend Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf

LSU to retire Gulfport High Legend, Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf's jersey

GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - Gulfport High basketball legend Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf - formerly known as Chris Jackson to South Mississippi - wasn’t just a star on the gulf coast, but throughout college basketball.

On Monday, LSU’s Athletic Hall of Fame Election Board approved unanimously to retire the former Admiral’s No. 35 jersey during the 2019-20 LSU Basketball season. The Gulfport native will become the 14th LSU athlete or coach to have his/her jersey retired, joining Bob Pettit, Pete “Pistol Pete” Maravich, Rudy Macklin, and Shaquille O’Neal for men’s basketball.

Abdul-Rauf was one of the best basketball talents the Magnolia State had ever seen. As a senior at Gulfport High, Abdul-Rauf averaged 29.9 points and 5.7 assists in his final year with the Admirals, collecting McDonald’s, Parade and Dapper-Dan All-America honors. In 1987-88, Abdul-Rauf was named Mississippi Player of the Year and the Gatorade Mississippi State Player of the Year.

Abdul-Rauf only spent two years at LSU before leaving for the NBA, but that’s all it would take. He became the best freshman of all time in NCAA history; a two-time consensus SEC Player of the Year, setting an NCAA freshman scoring record, averaging 30.2 points per game that still holds today. He finished his collegiate career as the seventh leading scorer in school history with 1,854 points (29.0 ppg). His records for freshman include most points in a game (55), most points in a season (965) and season average (30.2).