HAL LEAR, one of the greatest basketball players in Temple history, will have his uniform number retired in January.
Lear's No. 6 will become the fourth number to be retired in Temple's 115-year history. The others are Lear's backcourt mate, Guy Rodgers, Mark Macon and Bill Mlkvy. The last number to be retired was Macon's No. 12 in November 1999.
The ceremony will take place at halftime of the Owls' game vs. Richmond on Jan. 30 at the Liacouras Center.
"I am grateful for this honor, but more importantly I feel so privileged to have gone to Temple," Lear said in a statement. "Education is so important and I was well educated at Temple. The most important award I received when I left Temple was being named the team's Outstanding Scholar-Athlete. That means the most to me. When I look back on my time there I remember the many people who I met and who have gone on to achieve in life in so many ways."
Lear, who also played at Overbrook High School, averaged at least 20 points in two different seasons. His first season at Temple was 1953-54. As a senior, Lear set a school record with 745 points (24.0 average), a mark he still holds. He helped the Owls to a 27-4 record and their first trip to the Final Four in 1956.
Lear scored 32 points in the Owls' 83-76 loss to Iowa in the national semifinals and scored a then-NCAA record 48 points in a consolation-game win over SMU. Lear was named the Final Four's MVP.
"Hal Lear is not only one of the greatest players, but one of the greatest people in Temple basketball history, and so deserving of this honor," Temple coach Fran Dunphy said. "To score 80 points in the Final Four is an amazing accomplishment, especially in an era without the three-point shot."
Lear scored 1,472 points over 79 games for a 19.0 scoring average.
Lear is retired after a 30-year career at Albert Einstein School of Medicine as an executive administrator of the Department of Psychiatry. He lives in Phoenix with his wife, Maggie O'Keefe Lear. The couple has nine children, 21 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
"Temple has had many great players over the years help the program become the sixth-winningest all-time, but Hal Lear clearly is at an elite level," Temple director of athletics Bill Bradshaw said. "He not only teamed with Guy Rodgers to make the best backcourt in Philadelphia basketball history, but was the leading scorer on Temple's first Final Four team, earning MVP honors for his incredible performance in the tournament."