Ron Sloy, who originated is whole project, had been a close friend of Kersey’s for over 30 years. “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 a generous supporter for local youth groups and was often seen personally delivering leftover food from Blazer games to local homeless. Sloy wanted to honor his friend, Kersey, in this special and memorable way.
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After Kersey has passed, there has been several voices in the Portland basketball community discussing about retiring Kersey’s jersey number, 25, in realization of his deserving performance with the Blazers. Kersey’s record was on top of many categories, including games and minutes played, scoring, steals, assists, blocked shots, field goals, and rebounding. “Jerome was loved by everyone. This unique display will allow Portlanders to celebrate his legacy.” Said Bill Schonely, Blazers longtime announcer. Schonely also mentioned that Kersey was an accomplished player who made an impression on everyone he met.
It was an engineering feat to assemble the oversize light display that was 32’ feet high and 34’ wide. The process required precision planning due to the large size, complex design, and challenging site conditions. The decoration made with 3,800 lights and features a giant “JK25” Santa hat 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. The display was designed and assembled by custom metal fabricator Hanset Stainless, which also 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.
“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.” Sloy also mentioned that he will be displaying the “JK25 Santa Hat” every holiday season in honor of his friend Kersey.
Please join the conversation with us on retiring Kersey’s jersey number by Tweeting #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