Photo Courtesy of Viking Athletics

Cleveland State University women’s volleyball team celebrates its win at the Horizon League championship in the Woodling Gym on Nov. 22.


February 29, 2016

Cleveland State retires jersey numbers

The Cleveland State University Department of Athletics retired the jerseys of point guard Norris Cole and forward Kailey Klein on Feb. 6.

The jersey retirement took place before the men’s basketball game for Cole and at halftime of the men’s game for Klein.

The women’s basketball team played after the men’s.

“I represent Cleveland State everywhere I go and I am glad the school wants to show the time and dedication I put in here,” Cole said.

Cole was a two-time first-team all Horizon League player in 2009 and 2010 and in 2011 he won the Horizon Player of the Year, Horizon Defensive Player of the Year and received an Honorable Mention for the AP All-America team.

In 2011, Cole was a finalist for the Bob Cousy award, given to the best point guard in college basketball.
He was also a finalist for the John Wooden Award, an award given to basketball players who are full-time students, keep their grade point average above 2.00 and are model citizens on and off the court.

“Every gym I go in, I look up in the rafters and see all the jerseys hanging up there, and I think it will be pretty cool for players to look up in the rafters at the Wolstein Center and see number 30 hanging,” Cole said.

Cole and the Vikings made the NCAA tournament in 2009 and were knocked out in the second round by the Arizona Wildcats.

He graduated from Cleveland State with a degree in Health Sciences in 2011 and declared for the NBA draft where he was drafted in the first round by the Chicago Bulls then traded to the Miami Heat.
Cole went on to make the NBA Finals three years in a row with the Heat and twice won the title.

He now plays for the New Orleans Pelicans.

Kailey Klein played for the women’s basketball team from 2006-2011 and is the leading scorer in program history with 2,140 points.

“I was completely shocked when Coach [Peterson] called me and told me that they were going to retire my number,” said Klein. “In fact, I am still in shock.”

Klein was a three-time first-team All-Horizon League in 2008, 2009 and 2010 and was Horizon League Co-player of the Year in 2009.

She won the Horizon League Championship MVP twice in 2008 and 2010 and led Cleveland State to two Horizon League Championships, earning two trips to the NCAA Tournament.

“I haven’t been here in six years and for [Cleveland State] to call and say we want to do this for you is really cool,” said Klein.

The men’s team was defeated that day by the University of Oakland Golden Grizzlies, 67-57.
The women’s team defeated the Oakland women’s team, 88-75 in overtime.


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