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Kaminsky-mania to hit Madison later this week

Big Frank returns to Madison on Thursday.

Arizona v Wisconsin Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Thursday night, the Wisconsin Badgers will welcome the Purdue Boilermakers to the Kohl Center as the Big Ten regular season winds down.

Of course, Wisconsin will also celebrate “Frank Kaminsky Night,” with special ceremonies before the game and at halftime against a top-10 ranked Purdue squad, as the university will hang Kaminsky’s No. 44 jersey up in the Kohl Center’s rafters.

[Insert joke about Frank suiting up against the Boilermakers here]

Wisconsin has tweeted out and teased some intriguing looks at the Kohl Center floor, which, according to UW, will be transformed into “a giant 3D screen” during some pregame festivities. Those pictures are quite appealing to the eye, so it should be interesting what they plan. For fans attending the game, get in your seats by 5:40 p.m. CT, as the party begins at 5:45.

The Wisconsin State Journal’s Jim Polzin tweeted on Monday that some articles on Kaminsky will come from the long-time Madison paper. One was already published on Monday diving deep into the decision to hang the current Charlotte Hornets forward’s jersey:

It was Doherty who approached Alvarez last fall with the idea of honoring Kaminsky. The only other men’s basketball number honored by UW is the No. 8 worn by the late Albert “Ab” Nicholas, a two-time first-team All-Big Ten pick in the 1950s who became a prominent booster.

Kaminsky was the star on back-to-back Final Four teams. He was the consensus national player of the year as a senior in 2014-15, collecting the Wooden Award, Naismith Trophy and Oscar Robertson Trophy while helping lead the Badgers within one victory of a national title.

“No pun intended,” Doherty said, “he’s a slam dunk.”

Alvarez thought so, too, calling the decision to honor Kaminsky “a no-brainer.” Ultimately, it’s Alvarez’s call on such matters.

Read more in Polzin’s article about the decision and Kaminsky’s reaction via phone call with associate athletic director Justin Doherty and athletic director Barry Alvarez.

  • Polzin, the veteran, respected reporter who’s covered Wisconsin for years, also wrote a piece that was released on Tuesday about how Kaminsky’s performance set higher expectations for those after him, and how it has influenced current players like Ethan Happ and 2018 signee Taylor Currie.

Kaminsky on the Mike Heller Show

The 2015 National Player of the Year and back-to-back Final Four participant also joined WTSO The Big 1070’s The Mike Heller Show on Monday. Be sure to listen to the 12-minute conversation about his thoughts on when his game began to click and overcoming adversity, relationships with his old teammates, being honored by Wisconsin, and what this current 2017–18 team is going through.

Oh yeah, what about some emotional responses?