BATON ROUGE— Louisiana Department of Health Secretary Alan Levine today praised LSU basketball great Durand “Rudy” Macklin for his work on and off the court. Macklin serves as director of the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports and the agency’s Bureau of Minority Health Access, and is having his jersey retired this weekend by the LSU Athletic Department.

As the  leading rebounder and the second-leading scorer (behind only Pete Maravich) in LSU basketball history, Macklin will be honored Saturday during halftime of the Tigers’ game against Kentucky while an oversized, ceremonial LSU jersey featuring his number, 40, is hoisted to the rafters of the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.

LDH Secretary Alan Levine said, “Rudy was an all-time great on the court, and I can’t think of anyone more worthy of having his jersey showcased next to those of ‘Pistol’ Pete, Shaquille O’Neal and the NBA’s first MVP, Bob Pettit.

“But it has been Rudy's efforts outside of the game that have truly cemented his place as a Louisiana legend. Rudy has worked tirelessly to help adults and children throughout Louisiana get more physically fit and lead healthier lives through innovative and fun initiatives such as the Governor’s Games, Lighten Up Louisiana and Lighten Up Louisiana Youth. Never happy with the status quo, Rudy has built and added to these programs year after year, turning them into events that can compete with those of any state in the nation.”

Levine added, “Rudy is a loyal LSU fan, and good man. I’m honored to have him as a friend. From all of us at LDH and the Governor’s office, we want Rudy to know we are proud of him and what he has meant to the LSU Tiger Nation.”

The Louisiana Department of Health strives to protect and promote health statewide and to ensure access to medical, preventive and rehabilitative services for all state citizens. To learn more about LDH, visithttp://www.dhh.louisiana.gov.