It's not completely unusual for a top professional athlete to rep his high school alma mater. After all, everyone knows that LeBron James had done plenty to push the Akron (Ohio) St. Vincent-St. Mary School name into the public sphere (he even returned for football practice this fall). He and the likes of Nate Robinson have routinely returned to their old stomping grounds on summer breaks.
Still, few athletes have honored their high school roots the way new Portland Trail Blazer Nolan Smith did last week: He wore his old high school jersey to one of the team's games.
Smith, a Mouth of Wilson (Va.) Oak Hill Academy graduate, arrived at the team's game at the Les Schwab Invitational in full Oak Hill get-up, sporting a number 23 Oak Hill jersey, a red undershirt and a very en vogue red snapback hat. The appearance came during the Blazers' first off night of the year, a respite which allowed Smith to take in Oak Hill's victory against Portland (Ore.) Lincoln High at Hillsboro (Ore.) Liberty High.
Of course, some may question whether Smith was really best suited to be spending his first rest day running around town and excitedly taking in a prep basketball game, all while sporting the jersey number made famous by a legendary Blazers Finals opponent (in case you didn't know, they're still not too crazy about MJ up in the Pacific Northwest).
Still, the guard was friendly enough to sit down and chat with OregonLive's Sean Meagher, who also captured the photo you see above. Smith appeared to bring good luck to his alma mater, too, as Oak Hill went on to win the highly hyped tournament for a fifth time after edging out a 57-50 victory against Portland (Ore.) Jesuit High on Friday night.
- Sports & Recreation