He will be honored with representatives from the conference’s other schools during the SEC tournament in March at the Georgia Dome.
Layne, a three-time All-SEC guard from 1999-2001, will be recognized at halftime of Georgia’s first tournament game. He will also make appearances at the SEC FanFare event at the adjacent Georgia World Congress Center.
“It was definitely unexpected,” Layne said. “Tim Hicks, the basketball (sports information director), sent me an email and asked to speak with me, so I gave him a call and he told me the news. A few days, later I got a call from (athletic director) Greg McGarity congratulating me.
“I was surprised about the whole thing. It’s very exciting to be included among the SEC legends and I’m very honored.”
Joining Layne among the SEC legends are Eddie Phillips (Alabama), Clint McDaniel (Arkansas), Gerald White (Auburn), Greg Stolt (Florida), Tony Delk (Kentucky), Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf (LSU), Ansu Sesay (Ole Miss), Erick Dampier (Mississippi State), John Brown (Missouri), Gary Gregor (South Carolina), Ed Wiener (Tennessee), John Thompson (Texas A&M) and Matt Freije (Vanderbilt).
“I’ll be there for the SEC tournament,” Layne said. “It’s another blessing that it’s at the Georgia Dome. I know that the tournament rotates sometimes, so for it to be close gives me an opportunity to really share this moment with my family.
“I’m happy to be mentioned among the other legends to be one of the few players out of Georgia to get this award. It’s really an honor to be up there with some of the greats.”
A 1998 Wheeler graduate, where he played all four years for current coach Doug Lipscomb, Layne had an outstanding three-year career at Georgia before leaving for the NBA draft in 2001. He ranks as one of the most productive and highest-scoring guards in Georgia basketball history.
Layne was a unanimous Freshman All-SEC selection in 1999, when he averaged 13 points per game and earned a starting job for the second half of the season. As a sophomore in 2000, he averaged 18.3 points per game and was a second-team All-SEC choice. The following year, Layne earned first-team all-conference honors, averaged 17 points per game and guided the Bulldogs toward the program’s first NCAA tournament berth in four years.
Layne finished his Bulldog career with 1,451 points, which still ranks 10th in team history, and at one time, he held records in 3-pointers made and attempted.
Layne and Freije will be among the youngest of this year’s Legend’s class. Freije played for the Commodores from 2001-04.
“To represent Georgia and go in with these great guys is an honor,” Layne said. “I played one year against Matt, so it’ll be special being one of the youngest guys there. The whole thing is a real blessing.”
Previous representatives from Georgia in the legends program include Vern Fleming (1999), Dominique Wilkins (2002), Lavon Mercer (2004), Shandon Anderson (2009) and Walter Daniels (2012).