Tennessee basketball senior Skylar McBee was honored by Grainger High School when the school retired his No. 4 prep basketball jersey during an on-court ceremony in its gymnasium in Rutledge, Tenn. last week.
A Rutledge native, McBee graduated from Grainger High School in 2009. He finished his prep career with 2,362 points – second only to former Tennessee All-American A.W. Davis (2,644). McBee lettered on the GHS varsity basketball team for four years. He played for coach Kip Combs as a freshman and sophomore, and he played for current GHS head coach Derrick Combs as a junior and senior.
Grainger High School was known as Rutledge High School until McBee’s senior season, changing its name to Grainger High School starting with the 2008-09 academic year. Also at that time, the mascot changed from the Pioneers to the Grizzlies.
McBee was joined on the court by his parents, Doug and Sue McBee, and he had numerous friends and family members in attendance as well. Grainger High School Athletic Director Andy Wells recited several of McBee’s prep and collegiate accomplishments before presenting McBee with a framed No. 4 jersey.
The school also hung a personalized No. 4 banner that will be displayed permanently in the gym.
“I’m very proud of where I come from,” Skylar McBee said Saturday. “And it’s an honor that all these people back home think that highly of me that they want to retire my number. It’s very humbling, and it means a lot to me.”
Though he joined the Volunteers as a freshman walk-on for the 2009-10 campaign, McBee is now in his third year as a scholarship member of the program. He is the most experienced player on this year’s Tennessee roster, having appeared in 105 games. He has made 123 3-pointers in his UT career, and is just 32 3-pointers away from breaking into the school’s all-time top-10 list for 3-pointers made in a career.
“It’s great to see Skylar recognized by his high school,” UT head coach Cuonzo Martin said. “Skylar comes from a tremendous family. He’s done a great job of representing them, as well as his entire community, during his time as a Vol. His character, work ethic, toughness and humility are the traits that allow him to perform at such a high level, and it’s clear that he’s a reflection of his community and the people of Grainger County.”
McBee wore No. 12 for his first three high school seasons and switched to No. 4 as a senior when the school became Grainger High School. He has worn No. 13 throughout his career at Tennessee.