DULUTH, MN – Before the Duluth East boys basketball team’s game against Blaine on Saturday afternoon, the Greyhounds honored former standout Rick Rickert by retiring his number 44 jersey.
His career accolades include:
- 3 Year Varsity Captain
- 2000 Point Scorer
- Led the team to the 2001 State Runner-Up Finish
- McDonald’s All-American
- Mr. Basketball Selection in 2001.
- First Minnesota Player to be selected as Big 10 Freshmen of the Year
- Second-Team All Big 10 Selection as a Freshmen
- First-Team All Big 10 Selection as a Sophomore
- Selected by the Minnesota Timberwolves in the 2003 NBA Draft
- Played 15 years professionally (in 13 different leagues).
- Most recently played in Japan’s top league
Rickert was thankful for his time at Duluth East, saying it helped to set him up for success as a professional athlete.
“This is where it all started, this is where, when I was on the JV team in 8th grade, this is where I knew that hey, I want to play basketball, I want to be very good and I want to play professionally. This is where the dream started, this is where I grew up, and this is where I put the work in to get to where, to get to that level of being professional and being successful.”
When asked about Minnesota’s distinct hockey culture, and his unique success as a basketball player, Rickert said it was hard work that ultimately made the difference.
“Duluth is a hockey city, but with basketball you kind of have to forge your own way, and that’s kind of what we tried to do. We tried to forge our own way, and be really good, and that’s how we were able to be successful.”
Following his jersey retirement ceremony, the Greyhounds fell to the Bengals, 71-58.