EIU's Henry Domercant's No. 44 To Be Retired

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Published on January 24 2013 7:00 pm
Last Updated on January 24 2013 7:00 pm
Written by Millie Lange

CHARLESTON, Ill. – Eastern Illinois Athletics will retire the eighth number in its long athletic history Saturday, Feb. 16 when the Panthers hang former basketball great Henry Domercant’s No. 44 from the rafters of Lantz Arena.  The ceremony will take place during halftime of the Panthers Ohio Valley Conference game that day against Murray State.

In addition to the retirement of Domercant’s number at the Feb. 16 basketball game, EIU will also be making a special presentation to former head coach Rick Samuels who led the Panthers to both their NCAA Division I Tournament appearances.  This season marks the 75th anniversary of NCAA March Madness as schools across the country honor former basketball players and coaches on their campuses during the season.  Members of both the 1992 and 2001 NCAA Tournament teams are being invited back for that game to take part in the special halftime presentation.

“This is a great opportunity for us to honor two individuals who helped shape Eastern Illinois basketball,” said athletic director Barbara Burke.  “We are excited to retire Henry Domercant’s number and are glad that he is able to be with us for this event.  With this being the 75th anniversary of NCAA March Madness and the retirement of Henry’s number, it only seemed appropriate to also honor Coach Rick Samuels who coached both of EIU’s NCAA Tournament teams.”

Domercant re-wrote the EIU and OVC record books during his basketball career from 2000-03 as he ranks at the school’s and conference’s all-time leading scorer with 2,602 points.  He finished his career ranked No. 26 on the NCAA all-time scoring list.

Domercant ranked in the top five in the nation in scoring his final three seasons to become the 11th NCAA Division I player to finish in the top five scorers three times in their career.  During the 2001 season, Domercant teamed with Kyle Hill to lead EIU to the NCAA Tournament as both players ranked in the top five in the NCAA in scoring the only time that has happened in NCAA history.

He was a three-time first team All-OVC selection, 2002 OVC Player of the Year and 2002 honorable mention All-American by the Associated Press.  Domercant currently holds 15 EIU single season and career scoring records.

Following his playing career at EIU, Domercant has gone on to a decorated professional career in Europe where he has been named to the All-European team on multiple occasions.  

Domercant joins seven former EIU greats that now have their number/jersey retired at EIU:  Kevin Duckworth (men’s basketball), Nancy Kassebaum (women’s basketball), Marty Pattin and Kevin Seitzer (baseball), Tony Romo and Sean Payton (football) and John Craft (track).

Tickets for the Feb. 16 game are available for purchase by calling 217-581-2106.  The date is a women’s and men’s doubleheader with Murray State.  The women will tip off at 4 p.m. followed by the men at approximately 6:15 p.m.