OSHKOSH — Tyrese Haliburton felt the love Friday night.
The former Oshkosh North basketball player and current Sacramento Kings guard retired his No. 14 Oshkosh North jersey and he was also inducted into the school’s Sports Hall of Fame at a ceremony at school.
He shared this special moment with his family, former and current coaches, former and current teammates and a host of supporters – some of whom had seen him play hoop from the very beginning.
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He was humbled by the adoration shown to him.
“Before there were aspirations to go pro or college, I just wanted to win a state championship, so it means a lot that I’m recognized as an athlete here,” Haliburton said before. ceremony. “But I think it means a lot more than a lot of people showing up, because of who I was as a person. And the relationships I created when I was here, so that means a lot.
Attendees got a glimpse of what the NBA star meant to the community after a ceremony that included remarks from Wisconsin State Rep. Gordon Hintz, former North America head coach Frank Schade, Northern athletic director Craig Lieder, Oshkosh City manager Mark Rohloff and current head coach Brad Weber.
Haliburton led North to the 2017-18 Division 1 state title under Weber and was a two-time Fox Valley Association Player of the Year. He finished his high school career with 1,492 points.
Haliburton’s father, John, said he and his family felt “blessed and grateful” for the outpouring of support.
“It’s a good thing for him,” he said. “To have this be Tyrese Haliburton’s day is something very special. Dreams come true.
“We are Oshkosh. The community is what we are. We don’t change. They don’t change. What you see is real. It’s what we all are.”
Schade, who coached Haliburton before retiring ahead of his senior season, said he remembers the now 6-foot-5 NBA point guard as a little kid shooting hoops a few blocks from Oshkosh North.
Haliburton’s success, Schade said, comes from his work ethic and his drive to be the best.
“He was still working. It wasn’t easy,” Schade said. “I remember driving to and from school…and I would often see this skinny little kid shooting hoops on Smith Street. Often all by himself. Sometimes with his dad. Sometimes with his brothers. And sometimes with his friends. But it was every day. All the time. He worked. He had this desire to constantly improve.
Schade’s recollection of Haliburton being late to his first practice as a rookie in college drew a lot of laughs. Schade also mentioned how selfless Haliburton was as a player and how he sometimes asked him to shoot more in certain situations. The crowd cheered as a few members of the Sacramento Kings coaching staff raised their hands and nodded in agreement.
Haliburton thanked Schade and Weber at the ceremony as well as the countless teachers who helped him in his development. He said he is still in touch with many of them via email and still sends letters.
He also talked about his environment growing up and how it shaped who he became.
“This environment in which to succeed and grow as an athlete and as a person and reach heights that I can only dream of,” Haliburton said. “I hope all the children and the generation after me can see the environment that I have created by chasing my dream and achieving something that has never been done before and I hope it will inspire people to chase their dreams and do things they say you can’t do.
“Growing up, teachers always asked what you wanted to be when you grew up and I always said an NBA player and it was always, ‘Let’s pick something a little more realistic.’ And that was always realistic for me. It was always my dream and something that I knew I could achieve and something that I wanted to achieve. I hope whoever you are, not just kids but people in general , that you chase your dreams and do what you want to do in this life because time and life is short and there is no time to waste so please chase your dreams and do what what you want to do.”
Haliburton, 21, is averaging 13.7 points and 7.1 assists in his second season with the Kings.