STORRS, Conn. — Shabazz Napier had several opportunities to leave the University of Connecticut over the past four seasons.

The senior from Roxbury, Mass. won a national championship as a freshman and could have transferred, as others did, when the Huskies were hit with academic sanctions after his sophomore season. He might have left when Hall of Fame coach Jim Calhoun retired just before the start of his junior year in which the Huskies were banned from the NCAA tournament. And he had the opportunity to declare for the NBA draft after leading the team to a 20-10 record last season.

But the 6-foot-1 point guard decided to stick it out.

“It’s just how life is,” Napier said Tuesday. “You go through a lot of obstacles in life to get where you want to be. To be successful, everybody thinks the path is just straight ahead. There’s a lot of obstacles. There’s a lot of rivers, a lot of mountains you have to pass.”

Napier will be honored at Gampel Pavilion on Wednesday night along with fellow seniors Niels Giffey and Tyler Olander and graduate student Lasan Kromah before the Huskies (23-6, 11-5 American) take on Rutgers (11-18, 5-11).

“Their loyalty, what they showed the program in the midst of adversity, the character that they showed, the leadership that they showed when we was in a difficult time, really means a lot to me,” second-year coach Kevin Ollie said. “We needed those guys to stay and they stuck with us.”

Most of all, UConn has needed Napier.

He is the only player in school history with 1,700 points and 600 assists, and has two career triple-doubles. He enters Wednesday’s game as the eighth-leading all-time scorer at UConn, 28 points behind his mentor, Kemba Walker. He needs just 13 assists to pass Ollie for third place on that list.

He currently leads the team in scoring (17.8 points per game), rebounding (6.0), assists (5.3) and steals (1.8). He is in the running for the John Wooden Award, the Naismith Trophy, the Oscar Robertson Trophy, and the Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year Award.

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