Wolf Pack retiring Fazekas' No. 22

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RENO, Nev. – The most decorated men’s basketball player in Nevada history will receive one of the greatest honors on Feb. 27 when Nick Fazekas will see his No. 22 Wolf Pack jersey hoisted at Lawlor Events Center.

Courtesy: Nevada Athletics

Fazekas, who starred for the Wolf Pack from 2003-2007, is the school’s all-time leading scorer and led Nevada to four NCAA Tournament appearances while winning three Western Athletic Conference Player of the Year awards.

The ceremony will take place at halftime of Nevada’s game against cross-state rival UNLV on Feb. 27. Tip-off for the game is at 8 p.m.

“This means the world that the University is going to recognize me,” Fazekas said. “Nevada is where all my dreams got started and I wouldn’t be where I am today without the University and all the people that helped me along the way. I’m really looking forward to the night. It will be very special to me and my family.”

Fazekas will be traveling to Reno from Japan with his family for the ceremony. He currently stars for the Kawasaki Brave Thunders in the Japanese professional circuit. He has twice led Kawasaki to championship seasons and last year was named the league’s Most Valuable Player. He recently became a naturalized Japanese citizen and also plays for the Japanese national team.

Current Wolf Pack guard Jazz Johnson currently wears No. 22 and upon the completion of his career next season, nobody will ever again wear No. 22 for the Nevada men’s basketball program. Fazekas joins Edgar Jones (No. 32) as the only two players in men’s basketball history at Nevada to have a number retired.

“This is the ultimate recognition for Nick and an honor that is most certainly earned and deserved,” said Nevada athletics director Doug Knuth. “We are thrilled that his schedule allows for him to return to Reno and we are excited to finally hang No. 22 forever at Lawlor Events Center.”

A native of Arvada, Colo., Fazekas burst onto the scene at Nevada as a freshman in the 2003-04 season as part of one of the greatest teams in school history. The skilled 6-10 forward set the school record for scoring as a freshman and was second on the team, while leading the team in rebounding as Nevada won the WAC championship and beat Michigan State and Gonzaga in the NCAA Tournament to reach the Sweet 16 for the first time in school history.

"What a basketball player!" said Trent Johnson, the former Nevada coach who signed Fazekas out of Ralston Valley High School in Colorado and coached him as a freshman. "Great hands, great offensive skill set, good teammate, and a winner. Such a joy to coach!"

As a sophomore, Fazekas won the first of three straight WAC Player of the Year awards after leading the league in scoring and finishing third in rebounding and blocked shots. He earned honorable mention All-America honors from the AP, Sports Illustrated and Rivals. He led Nevada to the NCAA Tournament again where the Pack beat Texas in 2005 before falling to No. 1 seed Illinois.

Fazekas’s junior season ended with another trip to the NCAA Tournament and third-team All-America honors from the AP. His name was one of 22 on the final ballot for the Wooden Award. As the WAC Player of the Year, he averaged a double-double for the season with 21.8 points per game and 10.2 rebounds per game. He broke the school’s single-season scoring mark, held by Jones, 721 points – a mark that still stands today.

In 2006-07, Nevada rolled through the regular season with Fazekas leading the way. He again averaged a double-double while leading Nevada to a top-10 national ranking in both polls. The Pack beat Creighton in the NCAA Tournament before falling to No. 2 seed Memphis. Fazekas earned first-team All-America honors from ESPN.com, the USBWA, SI.com and collegeinsider.com. He was named to the 10-man Wooden All-America Team and finished eighth in Wooden Award voting while also being named one of 10 finalists for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award.

Overall, Fazekas, and teammate Kyle Shiloh, are the winningest Wolf Pack players in school history with a 106-27 record over four years. Nevada won four straight WAC regular-season titles and two WAC tournament championships during that time.

Fazekas is the only player to ever win three Player of the Year honors in the WAC and he ranks third all-time in scoring behind Keith Van Horn (Utah) and Danny Ainge (BYU), and second in rebounding behind Michael Cage (SDSU). He won the 2006 Joe Kearney Award as the WAC’s Male Athlete of the Year.

He was selected 34th overall by the Dallas Mavericks in the 2007 NBA Draft and spent time in the NBA with the Mavericks and the Los Angeles Clippers. He played in the NBA D-League and played professionally in Belgium and France before going to Japan in 2012.