Three-time NBA All-Star Richard “Rip” Hamilton, a 1996 Coatesville High School graduate, will have his No. 32 jersey retired by the Detroit Pistons in a halftime ceremony on Feb. 26 at The Palace of Auburn Hills (Mich.).
“Rip’s numbers speak for themselves,” said Pistons owner Tom Gores. “He was a top performer year in and year out, from the regular season through the playoffs and especially during the championship run of 2004.”
Hamilton spent nine of his 14 seasons in the league with the Pistons, leading the team in scoring for eight of those nine seasons. He’s one of only five players in franchise history to score 50 or more points in a single game.
During his tenure in Detroit, the team made six consecutive trips to the Eastern Conference Finals. He also made it to the NBA Finals twice, and won the championship in 2004 after conquering the Los Angeles Lakers and his former high school rival and AAU teammate Kobe Bryant.
“I look forward to sharing this experience with all the fans who supported me throughout my years as a Piston, and look forward to celebrating in The Palace one final time,” said Hamilton.
Hamilton was a McDonald’s All-American as a senior at Coatesville. He then led the University of Connecticut to the program’s first-ever NCAA title during his junior year with the Huskies. Instead of returning to college for his final year, he declared for the NBA Draft, and was chosen seventh overall by the Washington Wizards in 1999.
As a Wizard, Hamilton shared the floor for a season with Michael Jordan.