Jayden Gardner closing out impressive final season with UVA

Published: Mar. 7, 2023 at 4:09 PM EST
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - It was an emotional Senior Day for UVA basketball star Jayden Gardner. Tears flowed as he got set to play his final regular season home game.

“[It took] a lot of commitment to this game and a lot of years to have my first championship in all the years. My family was there,” Gardner said.

Gardner transferred to UVA from East Carolina before last season, and in his two seasons at UVA, Gardner has started in all 64 games.

“That’s a passionate young man. I remember when he was leaving East Carolina. He wanted to play in this league and have a chance to win a conference championship and get in to the NCAA tournament. He has such a huge heart. He tries hard and I love that,” Coach Tony Bennett said.

After the game, Gardner and his teammates got to cut down the nets as ACC regular season co-champs.

“It felt amazing to do it with this group of guys, especially the year we had last year, to build off of that and cut down the nets,” Gardner said.

Gardner is one of only three active Division 1 players with over 2,000 career points and 1,000 career rebounds. He leads all Virginia starters, shooting 52% from the field.

A year ago, Gardner decided to return to UVA for a fifth season of college basketball.

“Kihei decided to come back, and I felt like we had a chance to run it back,” Gardner said. “Right now things are going pretty good.”

The North Carolina native expects lots of friends and family supporting him at Greensboro, and he says he likes his team’s chances.

Gardner and the ‘Hoos will play at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 9, in the ACC tournament. The ‘Hoos are likely to face No. 7 North Carolina, a team they split two games with this season.

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