By Brad Spencer
The Chicago Bulls host the New York Knicks on Monday night at the United Center (7 p.m.), which means Oak Park native Iman Shumpert will return to his old stomping grounds — or near them anyway.
Wednesday Journal will be on hand at the game to cover the 2008 OPRF High School graduate’s homecoming.
Shumpert is averaging 10 points per game in his rookie season for the Knicks. He started Wednesday night’s 118-105 loss to San Antonio, scoring just two points.
“I’m going to stay home and watch it on television,” said Shumpert’s father, Odis, of the Monday night matchup. “I’ve been to about 75 percent of his games already, and tickets are hard to come by for this game, even for him. So, I’ll sit this one out.”
Odis said Shumpert’s three brothers will be on hand to watch their famous sibling take on reigning NBA MVP Derrick Rose and the Bulls, but that’s all he knew for sure. Iman’s mother, L'Tanya, a college professor, has to teach a class Monday evening and won’t be able to make the game.
“We’ll see him in other venues and for sure in April when the Knicks come back to Chicago, but we’re just happy his brothers will be there this time around,” said Odis, who added he’ll likely get some private time with his son at the team’s hotel.
“He’s doing great, adjusting well to everything,” said Odis. “He’s so busy, but his focus is of course on basketball right now.”
Check Oakpark.com next week for a feature story and photos of Shumpert’s return to the Chicago area.