Isaiah Whitehead remembers seeing the retired jerseys in the rafters at Abraham Lincoln High School and thinking it was pretty crazy.
You know what’s crazier? Seeing your own jersey up there.
Whitehead’s jersey was retired by Lincoln on Tuesday, joining the ranks with Lance Stephenson, Stephon Marbury and Sebastian Telfair – quite an honor for the Coney Island native.
“Being compared to those guys since eighth or ninth grade to finally be up there with them it’s a great accomplishment,” Whitehead said.
The Nets rookie was a standout at Lincoln, averaging 23.5 points, 6.7 rebounds and 5.3 assists in his senior year. He was a McDonald's All-American, Mr. New York Basketball and New York State Sportswriters Association state player of the year as a senior in 2014. Whitehead led the Railsplitters to a PSAL Class AA championship in 2013, but one of the games that stands out most to him goes all the way back to his freshman year.
“I was struggling in the first five games and then in the sixth game I hit an and-1 buzzer beater three,” Whitehead said. “That was probably one of my biggest moments.”
Whitehead was greeted by a full house on Tuesday as Lincoln beat Boys and Girls High School, their longtime rivals. With his jersey hanging in the rafters, he’ll always have a presence at the game and will be something the next Isaiah Whitehead looks up to at Lincoln.