A native of Iowa Falls, Iowa, Nick Collison was chosen as 12th overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft to the Seattle Supersonics. Last season he was named the NABC National Player of the Year, the Big 12 Male Athlete of the Year, a consensus first-team All-American and the Big 12 Player of the Year by the league's coaches.
The concept of retiring the jerseys of outstanding Jayhawk men's basketball players was initiated prior to the 1992-93 season when banners honoring Clyde Lovellete, Danny Manning, B.H. Born, Charlie Black, Paul Endacott, Wilt Chamberlain and Charlie Black were unveiled in the south end of Allen Fieldhouse. The original criteria for a retired jersey included KU players named college basketball player of the year, most valuable player of the NCAA Tournament or being named a four-time All-American. The list was expanded in 1997 to include Ray Evans, who holds the distinction of being an All-American in both football and basketball.
The criteria was expanded prior to the 2002-03 season to include consensus first-team All-Americans, two-time first-team All-America selections and Academic All-American of the Year.
As a senior, Collison averaged team-highs of 18.5 points and 10.0 rebounds per game en route to leading the Jayhawks to a 30-8 record and the NCAA national championship game. Collison left Lawrence as the school's second all-time leading scorer (2,097 points), third all-time leading rebounder (1,143 boards) and second all-time leading shot-blocker (243 rejections).