HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) — No player has worn the number 44 at Hampton since 1980. That was Rick Mahorn’s final season as a Pirate and on Monday, Hampton officially retired Mahorn’s 44 during a halftime celebration at the Convocation Center.

Mahon starred at then-Hampton Institute from 1976-1980. The Connecticut native says his years at Hampton helped shape him into the man he is today.

“What a rush, it’s a rush because it’s where I laid my bones,” Mahorn said, “A lot of times, people forget where they came from… I don’t. Hampton Institute at the time, and now Hampton University, did so much for me in my life. I learned a lot. I learned how to navigate the world.”

Mahorn was drafted by the Washington Bullets in the second round of the 1980 NBA Draft. He’s most remembered for his time with the Detroit Pistons where he won an NBA Championship in 1989.

One of the toughest players in league history, Mahorn says his old style wouldn’t quite pass the test in today’s NBA.

“It’s not legal to do what I did to anybody in the league now if you look at the rules,” Mahorn said. “The thing is, it’s all about entertainment, it’s exciting basketball. Everybody shoots the three, I wish they had the three-pointer when I was here, but hey, it’s all about progression.”

Mahorn lives in Detroit where he works in radio. He also does work for the Pistons.