By John Hubbuch
This past Friday former Oak Park basketballer Iman Shumpert had his number 32 jersey retired. As a result no other Oak Park hoopster will every wear number 32. Mr. Shumpert joined former OPRF baseball coach Jack Kaiser as the only person in the 138 year history of the school to have his jersey retired.
I can't quiet figure out why Mr. Shumpert's jersey would be retired so soon. I'm sure he is a fine young man ,and is obviously a very talented basketball player, not to mention rich, as a result of being drafted 17th in the first round of the NBA draft. Good for him.
His senior year at OP Iman averaged 15.3 points a game and was the conference MVP both his senior and junior year. He played 3 seasons at Georgia Tech finishing up as the 32nd leading scorer in school history. Such accomplishments are impressive, but other Oak Park athletes have had similiar success, and their jerseys have not been retired. Hoopster Greg Guy was the leading scorer in Division 1 basketball in 1992-1993. Dani Tyler was an All-American softball player who won a gold medal at the 1996 Olympics. And Eric Kummerow was a three sport standout at the high school and was a first round draft choice of the Miami Dolphins.
It all just seems a little premature. Perhaps the high school could have waited until Mr. Shumpert had played a couple of seasons in the NBA, or at least a game. I'm wondering whether any 21 year old should ever have his jersey number retired. At least Mr. Shumpert was old enough to legally enjoy a champagne toast celebrating his honor.