Next May marks the 30th anniversary of the passing of UTEP point guard Hernell "Jeep" Jackson. Just a few months after finishing his senior season with the Miners, the popular fan favorite collapsed during a benefit basketball game and later died at Beaumont Hospital. Jackson was only 23 years old.

To help celebrate the memory of Jeep Jackson, UTEP is planning a tribute during a yet-to-be-announced 2017 C-USA men's basketball home game. In addition, his jersey #22 will be worn by sophomore forward Paul Thomas throughout the 2016-17 season.

Alex Nicolas.

Jackson's locker is still at the Don Haskins Center, untouched after more than 29 years. However, Miners head coach Tim Floyd decided to allow Thomas to wear jersey #22 this season as a tribute to Jackson's memory. There is also a group of longtime UTEP supporters who would help cover the costs to fly Jackson's family into El Paso for the tribute to Jeep. There is no indication yet by Coach Floyd if Thomas will be allowed to wear #22 after this season. The Miners first exhibition game is Sunday afternoon at 1pm against Southeastern Oklahoma State.