Wilkes reaches Hall of Fame, Lakers to retire jersey

Jamaal Wilkes

Jamaal Wilkes, left, flanks longtime Lakers assistant coach Bill Bertka, with Rick Wilson on the right. Wilkes spoke last year in Santa Barbara at the SBART Prelude to March Madness event.

Jamaal Wilkes, who starred locally at Santa Barbara High in the late 1960s, will be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on September 7th.

The announcement was made Monday before the Kentucky-Kansas NCAA Championship game.

Joining Wilkes are head coach Don Nelson, sharp-shooter Reggie Miller, and Ralph Sampson.

Wilkes finally broke through into the Hall of Fame after being named a finalist in 2010 and 2011.

Wilkes is also getting a special distinction from the Los Angeles Lakers. The team has announced plans to retire Wilkes’ jersey in a ceremony planned for next season.

“Smooth as Silk” will be only the eighth player to have his jersey retired by the Lakers. Wilkes wore No. 52 while with the Lakers.

Wilkes starred at Santa Barbara High alongside Don Ford in the late 1960’s before playing for John Wooden at UCLA. Wilkes continued on to have a decorated NBA career, which included three all-star appearances and four NBA titles with the Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors.

He won two NCAA titles at UCLA and was a part of UCLA’s storied 88-game winning streak that was recently topped by UConn’s women’s basetball team.

Wilkes, who currently resides in Los Angeles, is one of five Santa Barbara High athletes to have their jerseys retired in J.R. Richards Gymnasium.