Jersey’s of Duke Players Retired: Chris Collins & Jon Scheyer in Illinois … Jay Williams in NJ

 

SDBB - Jerseys Retired - Collins, Scheyer, & WilliamsOne of the most incredibly special honours any player can have is to have his (or her) jerseys retired by their schools.  Recently three Duke standouts experienced this honour.

Chris Collins’ #20 and Jon Scheyer’s #23 were retired by their High School, Glenbrook, North in Illinois.  Interestingly enough, both have gone on to coaching positions with Duke, when their playing days were done.  Chris has become the Head Coach at Northwestern, while Jon is in his second year as a Duke Assistant.

If you take a moment to consider the odds of two youngsters playing for the same High School, then College, and then coaching at the same University, it boggles the mind.

Makes you wonder what’s in the water there, eh ???

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 Jason “Jay” Williams has already enjoyed having his #32 jersey retired by St. Joseph’s High School in Metuchen, NJ.  Recently Jay also had his old Grammar School retire his old #32 jersey.  The former Sacred Heart School in South Plainfield, New Jersey extended that honour during a recent re-dedication of the school gymnasium.

I have always had a special interest in Jay as I also attended Sacred Heart and then St, Joe’s some 26 years earlier.

The gymnasium they re-dedicated was originally a church sanctuary built to be an essential part of the student’s daily lives, then for the congregation on Sunday and and other Holy Days.   As a 6th grader, I was part of one the first squads to play on that “real” gymnasium floor, once the sanctuary had been re-located to a newly constructed church.  A few years later, I would move on to St. Joe’s and have my basketball career stunted by a freak accident just as basketball season began.   I put my hand thru a glass door on my way to Science Class in an annex.  My hand, deeply cut, meant my playing days were essentially over.

I’ve long enjoyed what might be the closest connection a fan can have to a player, and while St. Joe’s has seen other players continue their careers, none have done it the way Jay has.  Many do not know that he excelled at other interests from the classroom to Chess.  He is now an integral part of ESPN’s college basketball team.

Having a Grammar School recognize his achievements is certainly a grand gesture, but one most certainly appropriate.  I guess you could say that having your jersey retired in all three of your schools is the ultimate “Trifecta” !!!

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