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Charles Barkley: Statue announcement ‘one of the coolest things to ever happen to me in my life’

Former Auburn running back Bo Jackson greets Charles Barkley on the field at Jordan-Hare Stadium during a break in the action with the football team playing Arkansas Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016.
Former Auburn running back Bo Jackson greets Charles Barkley on the field at Jordan-Hare Stadium during a break in the action with the football team playing Arkansas Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016. mniziolek@ledger-enquirer.com

Former Auburn running back Bo Jackson is going to have one less thing to rib his longtime friend Charles Barkley about.

Both alums were on hand for Auburn’s game against Arkansas Saturday night at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

Jackson announced Auburn’s plans to honor Barkley with a statue outside of Auburn Arena with a pre-taped video message on the jumbo tron during a first quarter break in the action.

Barkley was introduced to the crowd along with a group of coaches and former players participating in Monday’s Bruce, Barkley & Basketball Golf Classic when the video started playing.

“One thing you know is that you know have made it big is when you can come back to Auburn University and not only people recognize you, but you have people taking pictures in front of certain items, certain landmarks, certain statutes,” Jackson said. “I have a statue. It’s pretty nice.”

Jackson didn’t leave Barkley in suspense for very long.

“I hear that you are going to have a statue to and I can’t wait to see it,” Jackson said. “You deserve it brother.”

The two shared a hug and some laughs when Barkley headed towards the sideline. After Barkley posed for pictures and signed a few autographs, he shared his reaction to the news with the Ledger-Enquirer.

“One of the greatest things to happen to me in my life,” Barkley said. “It’s pretty special.”

Barkley admitted to having recent conversations with the school about a statue, but Saturday’s announcement was a genuine surprise.

“One of the coolest things to ever happen to me in my life,” Barkley said. “It’s probably the most significant thing for a kid from Alabama going to Auburn.”

It was also a thrill for the announcement to come from Jackson.

“Me and Bo have so much fun together,” Barkley said. “I tell people one of the greatest highlights of my life is going to college with Bo Jackson.”

As for making his statue more popular than Jackson’s, Barkley admitted it might be a losing battle.

“It won’t ever be,” Barkley said. “Football always going to be king here.”

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