Oliver Purnell will be at Stephen Decatur High in Maryland on Friday, but not to recruit. Instead he'll have his No. 22 jersey retired, the one he wore when he helped the Seahawks to the 1970 state basketball championship.
Since then, Purnell has gone on to be a 1,000-point scorer at Old Dominion and a successful head coach at Radford, Old Dominion, Dayton and Clemson. He was inducted into the ODU Hall of Fame in 1988. So the man has had a storied career, which is why I couldn't help but wonder why it took Stephen Decatur High so long to honor him.
Naturally, I went to Wikipedia to learn more about the school.
I was curious if there were like a ton of famous graduates or something else that might make the criteria to be honored a little tougher at Stephen Decatur High. But when I looked all I found was a writer for The OC and an indoor soccer player. That's what Stephen Decatur High has produced. So I'm thinking Purnell should've been honored like 30 years ago, at least. But whatever. He'll have his jersey retired at halftime of Friday night's game. Better late than never.
In a related note, I still haven't made Wikipedia's list of "Famous Residents" from Horn Lake, Miss.
This is devastating on many levels.
I don't want this to come off the wrong way, but in terms of Horn Lake High graduates I am pretty freaking unbelievable. Still, I've never been honored (even though I've asked the principal to retire my baseball jersey several times) and can't even get recognized by Wikipedia as one of the town's "Famous Residents." Brandon Jackson, back-up running back for the Green Bay Packers, is listed, and I'm OK with that. But the third famous resident is Donnie Newman, who is (according to Wikipedia) "one of the most respected band directors in the country and the director of the Horn Lake High School band, which is among the top 10 bands in the entire state of Mississippi."
I'm getting beat by a high school band director?
And since when does having a top 10 band in the state of Mississippi count for anything?
Anyway, Oliver Purnell is being honored by his high school.
Good for him.
We should all be so lucky.
(And by all, I mean me.)