CHICAGO — Reginald Brock said he was disheartened to see Derrick Rose leave Chicago but overjoyed to know he'll be wearing No. 25 with the New York Knicks.
Brock, Simeon Career Academy's athletic director, described the former Wolverines and Bulls star's decision to don No. 25 — in honor of late Simeon legend Ben Wilson — "as extremely special."
"We always like to keep the torch lit in honor of Ben Wilson," Brock said.
Wilson was the top high school player in the country when he was fatally shot on Nov. 20, 1984, but his legacy lives on with former Simeon superstar players wearing his No. 25. Simeon product Nick Anderson wore No. 25 in the NBA, while Kendall Pollard, Kendrick Nunn and other former Wolverines have suited up with that uniform number in college.
Simeon retired No. 25 in 2009, on the 25th anniversary of Wilson's death.
Brock said Wednesday's trade of Rose to the Knicks is "a tough loss for Chicago," but he wasn't surprised.
New Knicks point guard Derrick Rose will wear No. 25 (his retired number at Simeon) in honor of Ben "Benji" Wilson pic.twitter.com/q3I816J7q3— Scott/Ballislife (@BallisLifeCHI) June 23, 2016
"He was entering the last year of his contract, and unless they made some other moves, they likely weren't going to be successful this year," Brock said. "We're very proud of the success Derrick had here in Chicago and all the excitement he brought to Bulls fans. We're hoping he'll do great things in New York."
Brock said Rose hasn't visited Simeon "a lot" in recent years, but that was OK.
"Although he wasn't in our presence, he was in our hearts," Brock said.
For more neighborhood news, listen to DNAinfo Radio here: