Kevon Looney's high school jersey retirement a 'dream come true'


Kevon Looney's high school jersey retirement a 'dream come true'

MILWAUKEE -- Hamilton High School retired Kevon Looney’s No. 5 jersey Thursday in a ceremony on the court where he was a four-year letterman for the Wildcats. The whole Golden State Warriors team came to celebrate. 

Looney is one of the best players of all time to come out of Milwaukee. He averaged 27.9 points, 12.7 rebounds, 8.0 blocks and 7.0 assists per game during his senior year. 

The festivities started in the high school library, where about 100 kids packed in for a Q&A session. Looney told the students he graduated with a 3.4 GPA and finished sixth in his class. A student asked, “Who is your favorite teacher?” and Looney pointed at the P.E. teacher, Jeff Hogan.

“My claim to fame is I taught him how to swim,” Hogan said. “He got in the pool, it wasn’t happening, but all of a sudden he stuck with it, and by the end, he was like a porpoise. He was just in there, strokin’ away.” 

There’s a pool on Hamilton’s campus. The facilities are “half gym, half swim,” said Hogan, who taught Looney how to swim during his freshman year. 

“He would not put his face in the water,” Hogan continued. “And with how tall he was, that was really a challenge.” 

Looney posed for pictures with students, and looked at old pictures in Hamilton yearbooks.

Looney was the junior year prom king. He wasn’t planning on going that year, but friends convinced him.

“I actually have the crown at home,” Looney said.

The celebration moved to the Wildcats’ gymnasium, where cheerleaders performed and Warriors coach Steve Kerr spoke to the students.

Kerr noted how surreal it was to remember Looney was playing in this gym just four years ago. Now he’s an NBA champion. 

Looney addressed the students and beamed with love for school. He described how much he enjoys coming back to Milwaukee and shared how grateful he is to live his dream as a pro basketball player. 

Looney autographed his green and yellow Wildcats jersey and held it up for pictures, his smile as big as his wingspan. Local TV crews rushed over to ask questions, surrounding him in a scrum of cameras and microphones. 

As the rest of the Warriors filed out to the team bus, Looney lingered to talk some more. His girlfriend, Mariah Winston, hung back to take more pictures. She said she felt his happiness all day. 

“He was telling me all of his memories and how he used to walk the campus halls with his team,” Winston said. "I know he was excited to be here. To be able to come back and retire a jersey, a number, is a dream come true."

NBA rumors: Team USA considering D'Angelo Russell as World Cup replacement

NBA rumors: Team USA considering D'Angelo Russell as World Cup replacement

After playing in five straight NBA Finals, Steph Curry and Draymond Green have a ton of extra miles on their legs, and Klay Thompson is recovering from surgery on his torn left ACL.

But Warriors newcomer D'Angelo Russell doesn't have the same wear and tear, which is why he could find himself playing for Team USA in the FIBA World Cup later this summer.

The Athletic's Joe Vardon reported Monday that Team USA is considering adding Russell as a replacement on the roster that will compete in China.

Russell is under consideration because a plethora of marquee stars have withdrawn from the competition in recent days to focus on the 2019-20 NBA season.

On Monday alone, Philadelphia 76ers forward Tobias Harris and No. 1 overall draft pick Zion Williamson pulled out of the event. Anthony Davis, James Harden, Bradley Beal, C.J. McCollum and Eric Gordon also have withdrawn in recent days. Vardon reported Monday that Damian Lillard and Kevin Love are expected to make their decisions in the coming days.

Russell had a breakout 2018-19 season with the Brooklyn Nets and earned his first All-Star Game selection. In 81 games, the former No. 2 overall draft pick averaged 21.1 points and 7.0 assists in 30.2 minutes.

The Warriors acquired Russell earlier in July as part of the sign-and-trade deal that sent Kevin Durant to the Nets.

[RELATED: Can Poole earn a rotation spot?]

While the Warriors probably would prefer if Russell rested and got ready for his first season with the team, experiencing the Team USA environment and playing in high-level competition could be beneficial for the 23-year-old. Getting a taste of winning can't hurt, either.

Steph Curry, Klay Thompson the No. 2 duo in NBA, Stephen A Smith says

Steph Curry, Klay Thompson the No. 2 duo in NBA, Stephen A Smith says

There are a bunch of incredible duos in the NBA. It isn't easy narrowing down the top five, let alone the order.

But on Monday morning, ESPN's Stephen A. Smith provided his list on "First Take."

5) James Harden and Russell Westbrook -- Rockets
4) Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving -- Nets
3) Kawhi Leonard and Paul George -- Clippers
2) Steph Curry and Klay Thompson -- Warriors
1) LeBron James and Anthony Davis -- Lakers

Smith offered high praise to the Splash Brothers:

"It's very simple. The greatest shooting backcourt in the history of basketball. Never before have we seen a duo that can shoot the basketball like this.

"When these two brothers return together healthy, I got news for you -- sleep on the Golden State Warriors if you want to because you don't know basketball.

"They're gonna have something to say about stuff when all is said and done."

What about Draymond Green?

"I think Steph and Draymond are more of a tandem than anyone," fellow ESPN host Max Kellerman said. "Now it's true you need a third guy to space the floor and shoot. Without Klay, it doesn't work as well.

"But you can take other guys who can shoot the three. Steph and Draymond are the pick-and-roll -- that's the whole league.

"When you reduce the Warriors down to their basic component, Dray is the No. 2 guy."

It's hard to disagree with Kellerman on this one, but it's understandable why Smith went with Klay because he was focusing on offensive firepower.

[RELATEDWhy Gottlieb is very wrong about Draymond's place in NBA]

Unfortunately, the five-time All-Star is expected to miss a large chunk of next season as he recovers from a torn left ACL.

Hello D'Angelo Russell...

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