Boston College Players Who Wore College Basketball's Least Popular Number

Alex Kirk #53 of the New Mexico Lobos looks to pass around Chace Stanback #22 of the UNLV Rebels during their game at the Thomas & Mack Center January 22 2011 in Las Vegas Nevada. UNLV won 63-62. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

BC hoops has certainly had its share of strange uniform numbers, from Uka Agbai's #00 to Cortney Dunn's #55. But can you guess what number is the least popular in all of college basketball today?

#53

Y! The Dagger editor Jeff Eisenberg recently profiled the few and the proud that wear college hoop's least used uniform number. There are only seven players on Division I's 345 teams who wear the number: New Mexico C Alex Kirk, Duke G Casey Peters, Texas F-C Clint Chapman, Ohio C Ethan Jacobs, Chattanooga C Jeremy Saffore and Charleston F Willis Hall.

And while there are only like four roster numbers decided these days, Danny Rubin's #31 is the only roster number within 25 spots of the elusive #53 (though Southern came "oh so close" with his #52). But are there any BC greats who once wore college basketball's least popular number? Turns out two former Eagles once donned the #53 jersey. 

Willie Wolters ('67) played three seasons on the Heights from 1964 to 1967. He led the team in both points (14.0) and rebounds (16.6) in 1965-66, and served as captain of the 1966-67 squad that made the NCAA Tournament's Elite Eight. Wolters was a starter in every game during his BC career with the Eagles winning 67 of 82 games during his three years on the Heights. Wolters would go on to have a brief career with the Supersonics.

Unfortunately though, Wolters wound up wearing both #53, a number typically reserved for walk-ons -- and #52, and it seems like he did his most damage while wearing #52. Not #53. 

Another Eagle on those late 1960s teams, Tom Verroneau ('70) also wore both numbers 52 and 53. Verroneau, who began his career as a walk-on, was a junior starter on a BC team that went 24-4 and lost in the NIT Championship Game. Verroneau is a 1998 inductee of the Varsity Club Athletic Hall of Fame.

Though just two Eagles have worn college hoops least popular number, #53 isn't the least popular in BC hoops history. Four different uniform numbers share that particular distinction -- Reggie Jackson's #0, Craig Smith's #1, Troy Bell's #2 and Richard Dunn's #28. If the school doesn't end up retiring Jackson, Smith and/or Bell's numbers, Dunn's #28 will retain sole possession of that distinction, as NCAA rules now prohibit players from selecting numbers containing a digit higher than five.

HT: Nunes Magician

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