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Bennedict Mathurin joins Arizona’s Ring of Honor during comeback win over UCLA

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Benedict Mathurin became the 31st player inducted into the Arizona men’s basketball Ring of Honor, a ceremony that was held at halftime of the comeback win over UCLA.

“It’s great, just being one of the few guys to be inducted,” Mathurin said. “I feel like it’s a great award, I worked really hard to get into that. I’m pretty grateful for that.”

Mathurin was honored at center court and was greeted by a standing ovation from the McKale crowd, getting in by virtue of being Pac-12 Player of the Year in 2022.

He was joined by his Indiana Pacers teammates—including former UA star TJ McConnell—and coach Rick Carlisle, who decided to fly the team plane from Portland to Tucson ahead of a Sunday game in Phoenix.

“It’s fun,” he said. “We had to wake up pretty early this morning so seeing how my teammates care about me, it says a lot.”

Mathurin spent two years at Arizona. During his freshman season, he was named on the Pac-12 All-Freshman team and took a big leap in his sophomore year under Tommy Lloyd after Sean Miller was fired.

During his sophomore year Mathurin was named a Second Team All-American, Pac-12 Player of the Year, Pac-12 Tournament Most Outstanding Player, First Team All Pac-12, Wooden Award All-American and to the NABC All-District First Team.

During that second season, Lloyd noticed a part of Mathurin’s game that needed more work to be successful at the next level.

“Being involved in pick-n-rolls, obviously this was a thing I was going to be involved in going pro and I feel like he understood that it was an area for me to grow. He helped me become that player,” Mathurin said.

Mathurin declared for the NBA Draft after his sophomore season and was taken sixth overall by the Pacers. He had a successful rookie season, finishing fourth in the NBA’s Rookie of the Year voting while averaging 16.7 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game.

This season Mathurin has helped put the Pacers in position to make the playoffs this year averaging 14.5 points, 3.7 rebounds and 2 assists per-game.

“It’s been pretty well, so many ups and downs but it’s been great playing 82 games,” Mathurin said. “We have a pretty good chance to make the playoffs this year. It’s been pretty fun.”

Mathurin won’t be the only Wildcat to be inducted into the Ring of Honor this season, Christian Koloko is set to be inducted against ASU on Feb. 17 and Kenny Lofton’s induction will be on March 2 against Oregon.