More than 30 years after Derrick Chievous last played a game for Missouri, the program will officially retire the No. 3 he wore from 1984-88 and hang his jersey in the rafters at Mizzou Arena alongside the team’s other storied numbers.
Chievous, Mizzou’s career scoring leader with 2,580 points, will have his number retired at halftime of Mizzou’s Feb. 19 game against Kentucky.
"Derrick Chievous enjoyed one of the greatest careers ever in a Mizzou basketball uniform, and we look forward to honoring him later this month by permanently hanging his number alongside other Tiger greats in Mizzou Arena," MU athletics director Jim Sterk said. “Derrick is most-deserving of this honor, and I know that our fans will want to be there to share this special moment with him and his family."
Under Sterk, Mizzou has adjusted the criteria for its jersey retirement policy in all sports, which allowed for the recent retirement of former baseball pitcher Max Scherzer’s No. 31. MU also plans to retire former basketball star John Brown’s No. 50 later this year.
Chievous’ No. 3 will hang next to the other retired numbers from MU’s past: Jon Sundvold’s No. 20, Norm Stewart’s No. 22, Willie Smith’s No. 30, Doug Smith’s No. 34, Steve Stipanovich’s No. 40 and Bill Stauffer’s No. 43.
Chievous twice earned first-team All-Big Eight honors and was an All-American in 1987. He ranks first in team history for points, single-season points (821 in 1986-87), career scoring average (19.9), career free throws made (784) and single-season free throws made (244 in 1986-87). He became MU’s career scoring leader as a junior in 1987 and also led the Tigers to both the Big Eight regular-season and conference tournament championship that year. He finished his college career holding Big Eight records for free throw attempts (963) and makes (764).
Drawn to Mizzou for the School of Journalism, Chievous came to Columbia from Jamaica, N.Y., as a 16-year-old basketball phenom who arrived just as All-Americans Stipanovich and Sundvold graduated. He brought a renewed energy to the program and the Hearnes Center crowds. Known for wearing his trademark Band-Aid on his forehead, the colorful New Yorker was unlike anything the program had seen.
“No one wanted to forget Stipanovich and Sundvold,” Stewart later wrote in his memoir, “but in college basketball if you want to maintain your program, you have to change with the times. We scored more points with Derrick and we attracted more fans to the arena with him.”
Chievous was a first-round NBA draft pick by Houston in 1988 but lasted just three seasons between Houston and Cleveland. He was inducted into Mizzou’s Athletics Hall of Fame in 1996 and returned to school to earn his degree in 2000.
“Derrick Chievous came to Missouri at a time when we were really changing over in our program,” Stewart said after Chievous’ final game in the 1988 NCAA Tournament. “We needed a great player like he is, and we needed somebody who really had the things that he had. He gave them to us. He gave us a lot of wins. … Fantastic ballplayer.”