UAA to retire Arts’ No. 34 jersey (Basketball)

November 22, 2011
Carl Arts

Three years after playing his final basketball game, Carl Arts will finally have his No. 34 jersey retired by the University of Alaska Anchorage.

The rugged 6-foot-6 forward from Valdez was an All-American player who was the centerpiece on the ’08 squad that went to the NCAA Tournament Final Four and won a school record 18 straight games.

He started 90 of 121 career games and ranks No. 3 on the all-time list in points [1,544] and rebounds [762]. He also played on three straight playoff teams and twice led the Great Alaska Shootout in rebounding.

But it wasn’t until he earned his college degree that Arts became eligible to have his jersey retired, joining fellow UAA greats Hansi Gnad, Jesse Jackson, Jason Kaiser and Michael Johnson in the exclusive club.

“It feels good to have your hard work put on display for future Seawolves fans and athletes to see,” Arts told me. “Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine my jersey would be retired at any level of basketball. It also makes you feel appreciated and that you made a difference.”

Arts will be honored during halftime of UAA’s first-round Shootout game Wednesday’s night.

“I haven’t really thought much about my career yet. Maybe when the time starts to get closer and my family arrives,” he said. “I would have to say right now though what stands out the most is the friendships that help mold you into who I am today. I was very blessed to have teammates that were committed to doing the right thing on the court for the success of the team.”

One of his favorite personal moments was leading the 2007 Shootout with 10.3 rebounds per game, highlighted by a career-high 16 against Texas Tech and Bobby Knight.

“Being an undersized power forward made it that much sweeter,” Arts said.

Arts went on to play pro ball in Germany and Australia after college and now he is supposed to play for the ABA’s Anchorage Quake.

He’s also looking beyond the hardwood.

“I am currently working on becoming a sub in the Anchorage School District while I teach part-time at the university,” Arts said. “I plan on taking my Masters in physical education in a year to complete my education. I know I said I retired, but I just can’t stop playing.”