South Carolina Basketball: Gamecock great gets professional jersey retired

South Carolina basketball great Chuck Eidson got his professional jersey retired in Lithuania last week.
South Carolina basketball legend Chuck Eidson
South Carolina basketball legend Chuck Eidson / Doug Pensinger/GettyImages

In the discussion of all-time great South Carolina basketball players, a few names instantly come to mind. Alex English, John Roche, Devan Downey, Sindarius Thornwell, BJ McKie, Brian Winters, and Tom Owens are names every Gamecock fan knows, regardless of age, and they make everyone's "greatest players ever" lists.

However, there are other Gamecock legends who don't get quite as much publicity. One of these underrated garnet and black-clad heroes was Chuck Eidson.

Eidson was a do-it-all player for USC who sometimes gets lost in the annals of South Carolina basketball history because he played just between the elite Eddie Fogler teams that made back-to-back NCAA Tournaments as a 2-seed and 3-seed and the extremely popular back-to-back NCAA Tournament teams under Dave Odom.

Those Carolina teams weren't very good, but it wasn't because of Eidson. Playing anywhere from point guard to power forward on the floor, Eidson averaged 9.5 points, 4.2 rebounds, 3.8 assists, and 2.4 assists per game for his career. He was an SEC All-Freshman and All-SEC performer, led the conference in steals twice (ranking 4th ever in takeaways in SEC history), and is one of two Gamecocks with a documented triple-double (he had two).

After his South Carolina basketball career, Eidson headed overseas where he became one of the top players internationally. He won a championship in Lithuania, a Baltic League trophy, a EuroCup title, a EuroCup MVP, and championships in Spain, Israel, Germany, and Russia.

With all of those accolades, it should come as no surprise that Eidson received a great honor recently and had his #13 jersey retired by Rytas Lietuvos, his professional team in Lithuania. He played just three seasons with the Black White Reds (yes, that is the team's name), but he had one of the greatest runs in European basketball history in the 2008-2009 season.

Alongside former Gamecock teammate Marijonas Petravicius, Eidson led his Rytas Lietuvos squad to championships in the Lithuanian league, the Lithuanian Cup, the Baltic league, and the EuroCup all in the same year, while earning the regular season MVP in the Lithuanian league and the postseason MVP award in all four championship runs.

His jersey retirement is just the second in the 60-year history for the club now known as BC Rytas.

Next. South Carolina Basketball: Ranking the greatest NBA Gamecocks of all-time. South Carolina Basketball: Ranking the greatest NBA Gamecocks of all-time. dark