Before CJ McCollum called Portland his basketball home, the Trail Blazers guard spent a lot of late nights on Lehigh University’s campus at Stabler Arena.
McCollum, a three-star guard out of Canton Ohio, earned a full-ride scholarship to Lehigh, where he started all but the first two games of his collegiate career. He helped lead the Mountain Hawks to an upset victory in the NCAA Tournament and took home Patriot League Player of the Year honors twice.
Then, in 2013, McCollum heard his name called 10th overall by the Portland Trail Blazers in the NBA Draft, becoming the only player in Lehigh school history to play in the NBA.
Two years ago Wednesday, the Blazers guard had his No. 3 jersey retired in a ceremony during halftime of Lehigh’s 73-71 loss to Holy Cross.
“It’s a blessing to be in that position where you get your jersey retired, be honored in that manner,” McCollum told Trail Blazers reporter Casey Holdahl.
McCollum averaged 21.3 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 2.1 steals over the course of 111 games during his collegiate career. He finished second-overall in Lehigh scoring boasting 2,361 points in four years and helped lead the Mountain Hawks to two of their six NCAA Tournament appearance.
The soon-to-be Trail Blazer capped off his time at Lehigh with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, a field he still practices today through his Pull Up Podcast, ReMaking America talk show series on PlayersTV, and his mentoring program, CJ’s Press Pass.
McCollum’s No. 3 Lehigh jersey will forever hang in the rafters at Stabler Arena. He hopes one day it will hang in the rafters of the Moda Center too.
McCollum was putting up MVP numbers for the Trail Blazers this season before suffering a broken foot. Through 13 games, he was averaging 26.7 points, 3.9 rebounds, and five assists. He is expected re-evaluated in the coming days and recently rejoined the team at practice.