Video: Koufos number is retired

By Jackson Zink — It is the one of the many achievements that many players dream about.

Two weeks ago, former GlenOak basketball player and current player for the Denver Nuggets, Kosta Koufos had his number thirty-one retired.  His number, along with JoAnn Zerger Antrum, who’s number was retired in 1994, are the only two basketball players in GlenOak to have their numbers retired.

“It’s truly an honor and a blessing, having all this support from the community, within the Greek community and all of GlenOak,” Koufos said.

In Koufos’ four years in high school, he led the team to the state final four his senior year and became the school’s all-time leading scorer.

After he graduated, Koufos went on to attend The Ohio State University on a full basketball scholarship.  Despite his stressed importance on education, Koufos left after one year, where he was named most valuable player of the postseason NIT tournament.  Koufos plans to go back to college after his professional basketball career is over.

“I’ll definitely go back and get my degree.  I’m currently taking courses online, try and fulfill a bachelors degree in business marketing, and hopefully after get my masters,” Koufos said.

After he left Ohio State, he would declare for the 2008 NBA Draft. He was picked twenty-third overall by the Utah Jazz and become the first GlenOak basketball player to play in the NBA.

Koufos’ experiences here at GlenOak have helped him to become successful outside of the basketball world.

“Everybody in the community has been really friendly to me growing up and has supported me along the way.  Plain local school district in its own unique way, we have a diverse culture of students, everyone has their own thing,” Koufos said.

Getting a number retired at any sport here has some lofty requirements.  In order to get a players number retired in a sport, that player had to be a leader of the team that took their team to the state championships.  They also had to have a good college and/or professional career.

“What Kosta did for us financially was unbelievable.  His senior year alone, ticket sales were tripled from that of a normal year,” Athletic Director, Scott Garcia said.

Both his accomplishments on and off the court helped to have Koufos’ number retired in the final home game against Timken.  His dedication to the game has helped him this past summer when the NBA went into a lockout between the players and owners.

“I worked hard every day, took it day by day, conditioned my body the right way, and it’s part of the reason why this year I’m having a good season,” Koufos said.

In 29 games for the Denver Nuggets, Koufos has scored 5.3 points per game and has grabbed 5.3 rebounds per game, enjoying his best statistical season as an NBA player.

Not only has Koufos been a great player in the sport of basketball, he has become a great ambassador for the GlenOak school district.

[Updated Aug. 7, 2017: This article has been reformatted for consistency.]