Congratulations are in order for our resident Basketball.org Expert, George Irvine , as his high school jersey was retired in a ceremony prior to the boys' varsity game at Ballard High School in Seattle, Washington, on January 22nd, 2010.
The jersey was retired following a dinner and ceremony with speeches from several mentors and coaches, including his high school coach and the Ballard High School Principal, Phil Brockman. He joined two others on Ballard’s Wall of Fame.
George, class of 1966 at Ballard High School, wore the number 44. During his three years in school there his teams went 42-10, including 31-7 over his junior and senior years. Averaging 19 points per game as a Junior and 21 points per game as a Senior, he was a three year letterman, two year All-City Team selection, and chosen to the Seattle Times Seond Team All-Time High School Player from Seattle high schools.
“George was a true Ballard legend,” said Jim Vatn, master of ceremonies for the evening.
After the congratulatory ceremony, George gave a speech to a packed crowd that was dead silent in reverence of the event. George said he did not start playing basketball to have his name and number added to the Wall of Fame, and he did not spend 40 years involved in the NBA for the money and fame. He did those things because he loves the game of basketball.
Irvine closed his speech with a piece of advice for all the young people in attendance.
“Figure out what you truly love,” he said. “And pursue it with all your heart.”