ALBANY — Gordy Gruhl had an idea when he first met Andre Young eight years ago that Young could wind up being one of the most special players to ever walk the halls of Deerfield-Windsor.
Tonight, that idea reaches fruition.
Young, a four-year star for Gruhl’s boys basketball team who went on to a successful career at Clemson — where he’s now the Tigers’ starting point guard and leading scorer as a senior — will return to Albany this evening to receive one of the rarest honors the school ever bestows by retiring his No. 11 jersey.
“You have to be a special player to get your jersey retired at our school,’’ said Gruhl, the school’s longtime basketball coach and A.D. “He is. He has lived up to that. It doesn’t surprise me at all that he has gone on and been very successful at Clemson. He has been able to do the same things at Clemson that he did at Deerfield-Windsor.’’
Young, whose jersey will be hung from the rafters before the boys game against Tiftarea tips off at 8 p.m., amassed a school record 2,062 career points before earning a full ride to Clemson, where he will graduate this year with honors with a degree in heath science. Young, who averaged 22 points and five assists a game his senior year at DWS, currently leads Clemson (8-6) in scoring with 12.9 points per game, while he’s first in steals with 23 and second in assists with 51.
Young’s jersey retirement will mark just the seventh time in school history a former Deerfield athlete will receive the honor.