University of the Pacific Athletics will honor former collegiate men’s basketball great Dell Demps by retiring his No. 5 jersey at halftime of the Jan. 17 Tigers’ game against University of San Francisco.
“I am very thankful and honored to have my basketball jersey retired at University of the Pacific,” said Demps, who after playing at Pacific went on to play professionally for 10 years and is currently the vice president of basketball operations and general manager of the National Basketball Association’s New Orleans Pelicans. “I had an absolute fabulous experience being a student-athlete for the Tigers. I want to thank my teammates, coaches and Tiger fans for all of the support, camaraderie and friendships. I learned so much from so many great people on and off the court. Words cannot express my joy and happiness to receive this great honor.”
Demps joins an esteemed group of Tiger alumni honored with retirement of their collegiate numbers. Already retired are Keith Swagerty’s No. 32, John Gianelli’s No. 23, Ron Cornelius’ No. 44 and Michael Olowokandi’s No. 55. All of which went on to play professionally following their respective careers at Pacific.
“I am pleased that Pacific Athletics will honor Dell Demps this season for his contributions to the game and to Pacific by adding him to a prestigious group of men’s basketball players that have had their jerseys retired, expressed Pacific Director of Athletics Janet Lucas. “Dell excelled on the court, in the classroom, and he exemplified the qualities that we continue to look for in our Pacific student-athletes.”
Pacific Athletics, the Pacific Athletic Foundation, and the men’s basketball program will host Demps for his jersey retirement during the Tigers’ West Coast Conference matchup against the University of San Francisco.
A 6-foot-4-inch swingman out of Mount Eden High School in Hayward, Demps was a four-year starter for the Pacific men’s basketball program from 1988-92. He was a three-time All-Big West selection, which included earning First Team honors in 1991-92 and Second Team honors in 1989-90, and was a two-time team MVP for the Tigers.
Demps emerged as one of the most prolific scorers in Pacific history, still ranking second with a career total of 1,742 points. He also remains second among all four-year Tiger players with a
career average of nearly 15.2 points per game. In addition, Demps continues to hold the record for assists in a game with 14 in Pacific’s dominating 108-87 win at UC Irvine on Jan. 7, 1991.
The All-Academic performer averaged nearly 19 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 3.1 assists per game in his final season with the Tigers. He ranks among the top-five all-time Tigers in three categories: second in three-point field goals made (230), fourth in made field goals (598), fourth in total assists (350), and the fourth player in program history to have played in at least 115 games.
“Dell is a valued member of the Pacific Basketball family and it’s going to be an exciting night to see his jersey get retired, added head coach Damon Stoudamire. “I have known Dell for years
and he has helped out tremendously in my short coaching career thus far.”
After his time at Pacific, the undrafted Demps went on to play 10 years professionally, both internationally and in the NBA. He spent three seasons in the NBA with the Golden State Warriors, San Antonio Spurs and Orlando Magic. After coaching in the NBA G League from 2001-03, Demps was a scout for the New York Knicks before moving into basketball operations where he served as the director of pro player personnel for the San Antonio Spurs for five seasons. Demps is currently in his ninth season as the senior vice president of basketball operations and general manager of the New Orleans Pelicans.
Demps was inducted into the Pacific Athletics Hall of Fame during the 2003-04 academic year.