Griffin was named the AP national player of the year in 2008-09, the second of his two seasons at OU, after averaging 22.7 points and 14.4 rebounds per game and leading the nation in rebounding and double-doubles. The Sooners finished 30-6 that season and reached the Elite Eight.
"I didn't know what I was going to feel, what to expect," Griffin said. "Anytime I come back here, it's such a family atmosphere. It's home. I'm a little bit overwhelmed with emotion and, like I said, incredibly honored to be able to be up there. Very appreciative of everybody."
Griffin's jersey joins those of men's players Alvan Adams, Wayman Tisdale, Stacey King and Mookie Blaylock. Tisdale also wore No. 23, and Griffin personally asked Tisdale if he could wear the number.
Griffin, now a star on the Los Angeles Clippers, has missed two months while recovering from a partially torn left quadriceps tendon. He broke his hand punching Clippers assistant equipment manager Matias Testi and will serve a four-game suspension for that incident once he is healthy. Griffin said he'll be ready to play soon.
"Very close," he said. "I'm not exactly sure a timetable, but very close."