TEMPE, Ariz. — Before names like James Harden or Jahii Carson were ever uttered along East Veterans Way, it was another electric guard, Eddie House, whom Sun Devils fans packed Wells Fargo Arena to get a glimpse of.
While Arizona State failed to make the NCAA tournament during House’s four years in Tempe — the team combined to go 61-63 under three different coaches (Bill Frieder, Don Newman and Rob Evans) — the former Sun Devil was more than worth the price of admission all by himself.
House, who went on to play 11 seasons in the NBA with nine different teams, left the program as the all-time leader in points (2,044) and steals (258). Not to mention, during his senior year (1999-2000), the native of Union City, Calif. became the first player in program history to be named Pac-10 Player of the Year — an award that was highlighted by his conference-record-tying 61-point effort against California on Jan. 8, 2000.
Yet, outside of a portrait of House adorning the entrance to Section K1, there are very few remnants of the sharpshooter’s accomplished collegiate career around his former stomping grounds.
But that all changed Saturday night, as the two-time All-Pac-10 first teamer had his No. 5 jersey honored at halftime of the Sun Devils’ 72-51 win over the Colorado Buffaloes.
Amid chants of “Eddie! Eddie! Eddie!,” House’s jersey was unfurled up in the rafters alongside those belonging to Byron Scott, Fat Lever, Joe Caldwell and Lionel Hollins.
While House didn’t speak during the brief ceremony, Arizona State head coach Herb Sendek praised the program for honoring the former guard 14 years removed from his illustrious Sun Devil career.
“It was a memorable day honoring Eddie House,” Sendek said. “I think it’s one of the best things we’ve done in recent times.”
ASU also plans to honor center Alton Lister’s No. 53 jersey later this season during a Feb. 8 home game against Oregon.