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CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8 | cbs8.com

San Diego State retires Kawhi Leonard's jersey

Leonard thanked Steve Fisher, who coached the Aztecs during the forward's two seasons with the team, for "recruiting me hard."
Credit: KFMB

SAN DIEGO — San Diego State retired the jersey of Kawhi Leonard at Saturday night's game against Utah State at Viejas Arena, making him the first player in program history to receive the honor.

"It's a dream come true," Leonard said at halftime of the Aztecs 80- 68 victory over Utah State that extended their school-record winning streak to 23 games. "Just coming here, I wanted to make a name for myself. I wanted to put San Diego State on the map."

Leonard thanked Steve Fisher, who coached the Aztecs during the 6-foot-7 forward's two seasons with the team, for "recruiting me hard."

"This is why I'm the player today," Leonard said.

Credit: AP
Former San Diego State forward Kawhi Leonard, center right, now with the Los Angeles Clippers, poses with family members and Clippers players, among others, after his No. 15 jersey was retired during a halftime ceremony at San Diego State's NCAA college basketball game against Utah State, Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

Leonard was joined at the game by Fisher, Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer, coach Doc Rivers and teammates Paul George, Montrezl Harrell and Lou Williams.

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Leonard, who wore No. 15, is among three players in San Diego State history to average a double-double for his career.

Leonard is third on the Aztecs' all-time rebounding list, averaging 10.2 per game, and 24th in scoring, averaging 14.14 points per game.

When Leonard signed with San Diego State out of Riverside's Martin Luther King High School on Nov. 12, 2008, Rivals.com rated him a four-star player out of a maximum of five, the 14th-best small forward in America and the 76th-best player at any position. According to Scout.com, he was the 25th-best small forward.

Credit: KFMB

"He is the kind of player that every coach loves to have," Fisher said at the time.

In his final college season, 2010-11, Leonard led the Aztecs to 20 consecutive victories and a 20-0 start -- school records that were broken Sunday -- and a berth in the Sweet 16, where they lost to eventual national champion Connecticut. San Diego State had never won an NCAA Division I tournament game before that season.

Leonard was a second-team All-American selection by The Associated Press for the 2010-11 season and a first-team All-Mountain West Conference selection. He was the MWC Freshman of the Year for the 2009-10 season.

Leonard led San Diego State in scoring (12.7 and 15.5 points per game) and rebounding (9.9 and 10.6) in both his seasons.

Leonard opted to make himself eligible for the NBA draft following his sophomore season. He was selected by the Indiana Pacers with the 15th choice in the 2011 and was dealt to the San Antonio Spurs in a draft-day trade.

He led the Spurs to the 2014 NBA championship and the Toronto Raptors to the 2019 title and was selected as the NBA Finals MVP both times.