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IOWA CITY - Stricken with cancer, yet still full of charm, Roy Marble was recognized at halftime Saturday to a rousing ovation at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Marble, the school's all-time leading scorer, was awarded a framed jersey from Iowa Athletics Director Gary Barta as part of a ceremony. Marble 48, has stage-four cancer. He was moved by the response from the sold-out crowd.
'I didn't know what it was going to mean until you actually get ready to do it,” Marble said afterward. 'It was just an elating feeling.”
Iowa's gesture left open a debate on jersey or number retirement at the school. Iowa's men's basketball program has eight retired numbers and one retired jersey. Marble scored 2,116 points, 323 more than second-place Aaron White, yet his number remains unretired. But Marble teammate B.J. Armstrong has jersey No. 10 retired, although that number remains in circulation.
Chris Street's No. 40 was the last number retired by the school. Street died in a car accident in 1993.
Iowa plans to honor former athletes with a wall of honor at both Kinnick Stadium and Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Barta said no decision has been made about wall's location inside the arena.
'What we decided to do in 2013 is start with that wall of honor concept at Kinnick and our plan is to do the same at Carver,” Barta said. 'We'll start with women's and men's basketball, and then I think we'll expand it to other sports as well. It was time to honor Roy, we did that in advance of the wall of honor.
'I don't envision retiring any more jerseys or numbers in any sports. We haven't done it in over 20 years. We've developed this wall of honor concept that we're going to play out. We did it in football, and we're going to do it in men's and women's basketball, and I can see us doing it in other sports as well.”
But many people, including White, believe Marble should have his jersey retired.
'He's arguably the best player to ever play here,” White said. 'Whatever he says, I was always take it with great knowledge and try to learn from him. I really wish they would have retired his jersey. To be honest I was a little disappointed that they didn't. But I'm not the one making decisions. The fact that they acknowledged him was good. He's a great guy.”
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