Ron Sloy, who initiated this project, is a close friend of Kersey’s for over 30 years. Sloy wanted to honor his friend, Jerome Kersey, in this special and memorable way. “Jerome was an incredible man both on and off the basketball court,” says Sloy. “Not only was he a leading player for the Blazers, he was a valuable member of the community, always reaching out to enrich the lives of others.” Kersey was often seen personally delivering leftover food from Blazer games to local homeless, and he was a generous supporter for local youth groups.
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After Kersey has passed, there has been discussions in the Portland basketball community talking about retiring Kersey’s jersey number, 25, in recognition of his extraordinary performance with the Blazers. Kersey’s record was on top of many categories, including scoring, steals, games and minutes played, blocked shots, field goals, rebounding, and assists. “Jerome was loved by everyone. This unique display will allow Portlanders to celebrate his legacy.” Said Bill Schonely, Blazers longtime announcer.
It was an engineering challenge to build the gigantic light display that was 32’ feet high and 34’ wide. The process acquired precision planning considering the size, complex design, and challenging site conditions. The decoration was set on an aluminum frame and mounted on front of one of the West Hills homes, which set on a deep slope with sharp drop-off. It was also made with 3,800 lights and features a giant “JK25” Santa hat. The display was designed and completed by custom metal fabricator Hanset Stainless, and took six weeks to construct and one week to install. “This truly was a unique and challenging project,” says Shane Crunchie, the project manager for Hanset Stainless. “Our whole team was excited to be a part of such a special project to honor a great member of the Portland community.” Crunchie believes that the “JK25 Santa Hat” will become Portland’s new holiday icon.
Sloy mentioned that he will be displaying the “JK25 Santa Hat” every holiday season in honor of his friend Kersey. “I hope that Portlanders will join me in recognizing all that Jerome did for the Blazers and for our community,” Sloy says. “Jerome’s number will be hanging high in our night sky for all to see. I hope it will also be hanging from the rafters before too long.”
If you’d like to join the conversation around retiring Kersey’s jersey number, please tweet with #JK25 and #retirejerseyJK25.
Photos of the Jerome Kersey holiday light display - the Oregonian
Ron Sloy talks about the Jerome Kersey holiday light project - Fox 12 Oregon