Retire #21 -- Bobby Staak's Darien High School Jersey Number

Retire #21 -- Bobby Staak's Darien High School Jersey Number

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John Swetye started this petition to Darien, Connecticut Superintendent of Public Schools Dr. Alan Addley and

Bobby Staak's Darien High School basketball jersey number 21 should be retired.  Bobby is arguably the greatest basketball player to play for Darien High School, who has devoted his career to the sport of basketball.  He played and coached at the high school, college, and professional levels.  Bobby is the all-time scoring leader at Darien High School with 1,166 points.  He set the record in three years in an era when freshmen were not allowed to play on the varsity team and when the best players usually played for their local public school and did not transfer to play at a private school as is so common today.  He became the Darien High scoring leader without the benefit of a three-point line which means his particular record will never be broken as long as the three-point line exists.  He averaged 24.1 points per game his senior year at Darien High and was all-FCIAC under long time head coach Del Mautte.  Bobby played at St. John’s University as a freshman where he was a protégé of the legendary coach, Lou Carnesecca.  He transferred to UCONN and played for three years under head coach Dee Rowe where he was twice a team captain, the senior MVP, a TV Guide All-American, and was 4th on the all-time UCONN scoring list with 1,288 points when he graduated.  Bob signed a contract with the Pittsburgh Condors of the American Basketball Association after graduation.  He began his coaching career at East Hartford High School before moving on to a position as assistant at UCONN.  Bob then became an assistant coach at the College of William & Mary.  Next, Bob became an assistant coach under future Hall-of-Famer Chuck Daly at the University of Pennsylvania.  He helped lead PENN to an NCAA Final Four appearance without the benefit of scholarship athletes!  Bob moved on to become the head coach at Xavier University in Cincinnati and is widely credited with laying the foundation for Xavier to become a national basketball powerhouse.  Bob held the head coaching job at Wake Forest before spending 12 years as an assistant coach in the National Basketball Association.  He coached with the Los Angeles Clippers, Miami Heat, Washington Bullets, Golden State Warriors, and Memphis Grizzlies.

The Darien boys varsity basketball program has rarely enjoyed the level of success of other sports programs at the high school since the glory days of Bobby Staak even though there have been many terrific athletes in Darien.  Retiring his number and posting it prominently in the gymnasium would be an inspiration to young basketball players who want to play for Darien High School and beyond.  It would let players know that they can have a career in the sport of basketball, too.

Bob was inducted into the Xavier Athletic Hall of Fame in 1990, the Greater Cincinnati Basketball Hall of Fame in 2002, the New England Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009, and the UConn Fairfield County Sports Hall of Fame in 2010.

It is long overdue for Bobby Staak to be honored by Darien High School for his lifelong contributions to the sport of basketball by retiring jersey number 21.

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