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Tom Chambers to have jersey retired by University of Utah

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Former University of Utah center Tom Chambers will have his jersey retired by the school.

Former University of Utah center Tom Chambers will have his jersey retired by the school.

Deseret News archives

Tom Chambers will be the ninth former University of Utah men’s basketball star to have his jersey hanging in the Huntsman Center rafters, the school announced Thursday.

Chambers will be honored on Feb. 5, just two weeks after the late Wat Misaka has his jersey retired on Jan. 22. The Utes host Oregon on Feb. 5 at 6:30 p.m. MST.

“In the tremendous history of the Utah men’s basketball program, Tom Chambers holds a special place for the accomplishments he achieved both as a member of the program and throughout his All-Star career in the NBA,” Utah athletic director Mark Harlan said in a statement. 

“He has brought distinction and positive recognition to the University of Utah by leading his team to two NCAA tournaments and achieving four NBA All-Star appearances over the course of his 16-year professional career. We are excited to have Tom and his family join us in the Huntsman Center to commemorate his incredible achievements by displaying his jersey among the greats in Utah Men’s Basketball history.”

The 6-foot-9 Chambers, who was born in Ogden, was a two-time All-Western Athletic Conference center for Utah from 1977-81. He helped the Runnin’ Utes advance to the NCAA Tournament twice, including reaching the Sweet Sixteen in 1981.

“I’m truly grateful and humbled that the U is going to honor me and my basketball career by putting my jersey up in the Huntsman Center,” Chambers said in a statement. 

Chambers finished his Runnin’ Utes career with 1,698 points and 876 rebounds, which ranks ninth and 10th, respectively, in program history. He led Utah in scoring his final three seasons, including his senior year, when Chambers helped the Utes earn a share of the WAC title while he averaged 18.6 points and 8.7 rebounds per game.

“I want to thank this great university, in particular Mark Harlan, for this becoming a reality,” Chambers said. “I have so many unforgettable memories and people that I will always cherish. My coaches, my friends, my extended family — made possible by the U. — and, of course, my terrific teammates. My family is loving this, as am I. Thank you and Go Utes!!”

Following his college career, Chambers was selected No. 8 overall by the San Diego Clippers in the 1981 NBA draft. He played 16 seasons as a power forward in the NBA, including suiting up for the Utah Jazz from 1993-95, played for the Phoenix Suns in the 1993 NBA Finals and was the 1987 NBA All-Star Game MVP. 

Chambers now works as a studio analyst with Suns TV on Bally Sports Arizona.