Villanova announced earlier this week that they’ll be retiring Josh Hart’s jersey on January 19th at halftime of their game against Marquette. Hart, who wore the number 3 in 146 games played for the Wildcats over four seasons, will become the first member of the 2016 national championship team to receive this honor.
Finishing in the top ten in the Big East in points and rebounds, Hart was a core member of that year’s team and an integral part of the championship run. He averaged more than 16 points in conference play, leading the Wildcats to the regular season title. Hart scored in double-figures in five of six NCAA tournament games in 2016, including a game high 23 against Oklahoma to send Villanova to the championship game.
The next season, Hart received both conference and national accolades. He was awarded Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year in 2017, the first of three Villanova players to win the award. Hart was also named BIG EAST Player of the Year and received Most Valuable Player of the BIG EAST Tournament honors for the second time after claiming the award in 2015 as well. Villanova won the BIG EAST Tournament in both years Hart was named MVP, with the forward scoring in double-figures in every game in both years. In his final BIG EAST Tournament game, Hart scored 29 points as the Wildcats defeated Creighton to secure the conference championship after winning the regular season title as well.
Hart ranks 10th all time in scoring for Villanova with 1,921 points. He led Villanova in scoring in each of his last two seasons before being drafted in the first round of the NBA Draft. Hart spent two years with the Los Angeles Lakers before being traded to the New Orleans Pelicans, with whom he currently plays.
Hart’s number 3 is currently worn by Brandon Slater, and he will be allowed to continue wearing it. Following Villanova tradition, the jersey will be retired while the number will still remain in rotation. Hart will be honored with a plaque at Finneran Pavillion.