University of Washington Retires Brandon Roy’s Number

Jaime IrvineCorrespondent IJanuary 23, 2009

In 106 seasons of University of Washington basketball, there has only been one number to be retired. In the 107th season, there is now two.

Brandon Roy of the Portland Trail Blazers had his number retired last night before the Huskies took on the Trojans of USC in Seattle.

The honor is not just another accolade that is going into the young superstar’s trophy case,following the 2006 All-America and Pac-10 player of the year, the 2007 NBA Rookie of the Year, and a 2008 NBA All-Star selection.

Roy said before the game, moments after buying dozens of boxes of pizza for the Washington students lined up outside Hec Edmundson Pavilion:

"I really can’t put this into words."

Those short simple words summed up exactly what Roy was feeling. I talked to a number of eyewitnesses, who attended the game last evening, and they all remarked on how excited and truly blessed Roy looked. ESPN even made similar comments:

"Then a beaming Roy walked to center court immediately before tipoff with his parents, his fiancee — who was holding their infant daughter — and Huskies coach Lorenzo Romar. Roy carried his young son in the crook of his right arm as the sellout crowd roared."

I honestly believe that this honor is quite dear to Roy’s heart. If you continue to read the ESPN article, it talks about how Roy had to struggle to get to college and continue to fight on while at the University of Washington, it is quite the inspiring story. I believe the experiences he endured in college are what make him the player that he is today.

After a wonderful evening, Roy is probably back now with his professional peers sitting in the Trail Blazers locker room. As he looks around at his teammates, they probably can not  comprehend the night he just had. For example, Martell Webster and Travis Outlaw both did not attend college and went straight to the NBA after high school. Roy’s experiences are completely foreign to these two and in Roy’s eyes they missed out.

I have said it before, but life is all about choices and consequences. Roy was able to play all four years at the University of Washington (not saying he had the option to leave early), while these other players left early or did not even attend college.

If you had a choice to choose between Roy’s life versus the others in the locker room, which would you choose? For all of those college basketball commentators (Dickie V.) who exasperate about how kids need to stay in college, why don’t they talk about Brandon Roy? Maybe they should start.


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