As a child, I was raised to be a Buckeye from the start. My mom instilled these beliefs in me as an infant, and my father didn’t have a say in the matter. If he had, it wouldn’t have been any different.
I became an avid fan myself though, just before the age of 10. This was largely because of the OSU men’s basketball team and really just two players.
Scoonie Penn and Michael Redd are two of OSU’s most memorable former athletes, and they successfully led their team to a 1999 NCAA tournament Final Four appearance. This, however, would later be vacated from the record books because of a rule violation under then-coach Jim O’Brien. I still count it.
Redd was a monster player at shooting guard for all three years he attended the OSU, with scoring averages of 21.9 points, 19.5 points and 17.3 points, respectively. His freshman season has yet to be topped by any Buckeye, as he leads all freshmen with 658 points, a 21.9 scoring average and 241 field goals made. Redd has some strong company in Buckeye freshmen, outscoring former OSU stars Jared Sullinger, Greg Oden, Jim Jackson and Herb Williams.
Redd ended up with 1,879 career points in 96 games, good enough for sixth in the OSU record books for career point totals. Both Redd and Penn quickly became OSU legends and Redd continued his stellar level of play in the NBA after three seasons as a Buckeye.
In 2000, Redd was drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks and played for them for 11 years. Redd reached a career best 26.7 points per game in the 2006-07 season, including a season a franchise record 57 points against Utah. He was a member of the U.S. gold-medal winning basketball team in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and set an NBA record for three-pointers in a quarter when he made eight shots from beyond the arc in the fourth period against Houston on Feb. 20, 2002.
Redd, who is back with Milwaukee after a short stint in Phoenix, is set to retire from the game Wednesday night against the Cleveland Cavaliers. He leaves as Milwaukee’s fourth all-time leading scorer, but I doubt he leaves the game for good. The game means too much to him, and he means too much to it.
He currently has a home in New Albany, a mere 20 minutes from OSU’s Columbus campus. I would like to see him get more involved in OSU athletics and I feel like he will.
Granted, he needs to take some time off and enjoy the life of retirement, but eventually I hope to see him walking around campus like I do other Buckeye legends and with his $500,000 donation to the new Buckeye locker room called, “The Michael Redd Locker Room,” I feel it may be sooner rather than later.