Bob Portman’s number 33 will return to Creighton men’s basketball
OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) – Number 33 returns to the court for Creighton Men’s Basketball. Bob Portman wore it for the last time and after breaking scoring records in the 1968-69 season, he found a new home in the rafters. Bob still has many of those records, including single-game program records for points (51), field goals (19), and free throws (19) made in a game.
Incoming freshman Fredrick King also wore 33 in high school and wanted to continue at Creighton.
Greg McDermott explains how it happened.
“It was really important to Fredrick and his family, so before I said ‘no’, I decided to reach out to Bob for his opinion, and it was definitely 100% his call.”
“After thinking about it, while he’s invested a lot of blood, sweat and tears in this number and it’s pretty cool to see it hanging in the rafters, he also thought it would be pretty special to do it. see you again on the floor. Hopefully Fredrick carrying the number will allow us to tell the story of Bob Portman, which is an incredible story in itself.
Bob scored 1,876 career points from 1966-69 at Creighton and also played in the NBA. At 75, Bob now lives in North Carolina and here are his thoughts on the return of number 33.
“Coach Mac told me about him and he said Fredrick wanted to wear the same number he had in high school,” Portman explained. “It’s one of those things where for me clinging to the past isn’t so bad.” “I had many thoughts, but one of them was my God, it was 53 years ago,” Portman continued. “I shared with him that my only concern was what would happen if this guy had a great career, which hopefully would, and then his jersey would be retired? Coach Mac told me assured that I am sure we can solve this problem.
Portman was inducted into the Creighton Athletics Hall of Fame in 1982 and the Missouri Valley Conference Hall of Fame in 2013. His jersey is just one of five that has a special place at the CHI Health Center. McDermott explains why he approached Portman.
“I got to know Bob, and that’s why I felt so comfortable calling him and having the conversation. What he accomplished at Creighton was amazing, and one of the things Bob wanted was to have the opportunity to meet Fredrick and get to know him, and we’re going to make sure that happens. I think it’s a great way to honor one of the all-time greats who ever wore the Bluejay uniform.
Copyright 2022 WOWT. All rights reserved.