COMPTON — Compton High School honored one of its own Feb. 12, when it retired the number 23 varsity jersey of the Toronto Raptors’ DeMar DeRozan.
DeRozan, who attended the final regular season game for his alma mater’s basketball team, was also presented with framed home and away varsity jerseys during halftime. He played at Compton High between 2004 and 2008, and played a role in two championship seasons.
Those attending the game included family, school staff, administrators, former Compton High teammates, as well as fellow Compton graduate Datone Jones of the NFL’s Green Bay Packers and Ed Davis of the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers.
DeRozan, who works out at his alma mater during the off-season and contributes to its basketball program, said his school was instrumental in his success.
“This school and this city made me who I am,” he said. “The teachers here kept me on the right track, kept me positive and kept me pushing on both sides; education and basketball,” he said. “I try to keep up with all the kids here. I try to be a positive role model for them.”
The Toronto Raptors star added that coming back years later to have his school honor him is something he will never forget.
“With the success I’ve had in my life, to come back here and get this recognition from my high school, that’s really love.”
Basketball coach Tony Thomas, who was also DeRozan’s math teacher, said he was a dedicated student and athlete.
“He was a good student who came to school every day, worked really hard and ended up playing basketball for USC,” he said. “I told him to look at the big picture. … That he needed to take care of things in order to make it. He did it.”
to collegiate hall
LONG BEACH — Ed Ratleff, who starred on the Long Beach State teams that reached the Elite 8 in 1971 and 1972, was among five players selected Feb. 17 to the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame.
A 6-foot-6 forward, Ratleff averaged 21.4 points, 8.3 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game in his three seasons with the 49ers.
Ratleff holds the school records for single-game scoring, 45 points in a Dec. 10, 1970, game against St. Mary’s, and the single-season assist record, 189 in the 1971-72 season, when he also averaged 21.4 points per game.
Long Beach State lost to eventual national champion UCLA in the West Regional finals in 1971 and 1972.
Ratleff was a member of the 1972 U.S. Olympic men’s basketball team that lost to the Soviet Union and has never accepted its silver medals.
Ratleff was selected by the Houston Rockets with the sixth pick in the 1973 NBA draft and played for the team for five seasons.
He and the remainder of the 2015 Hall of Fame class will be inducted Nov. 20 in Kansas City. The other players selected were John Havlicek, Charlie Scott, Rolando Blackman and Quinn Buckner. The coaches selected were Lou Henson, Don Donoher and Zip Gayles.
Pitchers and catchers
report this week
The Los Angeles Dodgers begin spring training Feb. 19 with pitchers and catchers reporting to the Dodgers’ spring training facility, Camelback Ranch, in Glendale, Ariz.
The full squad reports Feb. 24.
The Dodgers received some bad news two days before they opened camp when it was announced that ace closer Kenley Jansen would be sidelined eight to 12 weeks after undergoing surgery to remove a growth on his left foot. Jansen, the only sure thing in the Dodgers bullpen entering spring training, will probably miss the first month of the season.
The Dodgers were unsure who would replace Jansen at the back end of the bullpen, although righthander Brandon League and lefthander J.P. Howell both have experience closing games.