Bulls guard Ryan Arcidiacono relishes Villanova honor as 'really special'

K.C. Johnson
NBC Sports Chicago

Ryan Arcidiacono doesn't slow down much or pause to reflect much. He's a grinder. He keeps charging ahead.

But Wednesday forced him to do both.

In the morning, he had a cortisone shot scheduled to address longstanding pain in his right elbow that he has played through. At night, Villanova will raise his No. 15 to the rafters for all-time.

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"It's just a great honor," Arcidiacono said. "To be part of other Villanova legends hanging up in the rafters, it's definitely really special."

Back on Jan. 14, Villanova announced its plans to retire the numbers of both Arcidiacono and Kyle Lowry. The Raptors' All-Star guard will be honored on Feb. 26.

"Kyle did so much and continues to do so much for the university and basketball program. He has donated tons of money, worked out with all the players. He lives near Villanova during the offseason. He's been a role model to all of us younger NBA players that are in the league now," Arcidiacono said. "It was special to be announced same day as him."

Arcidiacono assisted on Kris Jenkins' game-winning shot over North Carolina in the 2016 NCAA men's final. In a news release announcing the honor, Villanova coach Jay Wright praised the "tenacity, intelligence and charisma" of Arcidiacono, a four-year starter and four-year captain.

"It's already eight years since my freshman year. Man, it's crazy how fast time has been flying," he said. "I'll always look back at my Villanova years, think of the national championship. And I also think of moments that were big turning points during the program. We struggled early my freshman year and then were able to win some bigger games. We kind of got it rolling and then landed some big-time recruits."

Now, Arcidiacono worked his way from the G League to a three-year, $9 million deal with the Bulls. The third season isn't fully guaranteed. But the perseverance and hard work which defined his Villanova tenure has helped him achieve a rotational role in the NBA.

"I owe a lot to Villanova and Coach Wright," he said.

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Bulls guard Ryan Arcidiacono relishes Villanova honor as 'really special' originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

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