Blazer Jerome Kersey’s Legacy Celebrated by Garnished Holiday Light
December 2, 2015
(PORTLAND, ORE.) – A new eye catching holiday light display is made to honor Jerome Kersey, the past Trail Blazer. The sizable holiday light display made with 3,800 lights and named “JK25 Santa Hat” will be located on one of the West Hills homes. The glamorous decoration can be seen from downtown and southeast Portland. The display will shine its light on this Friday, November 13th, and is now in the final stages of installation.
Ron Sloy is the project’s originator, he’s also a close friend of Kersey’s for more than 30 years. Sloy wanted to honor his friend in a unique 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 a generous supporter for local youth groups and was often seen personally delivering leftover food from Blazer games to local homeless.
Since February when Kersey has passed, the Portland basketball community has mentioned about retiring Kersey’s jersey number, 25, in realization of his laudable performance with the Trail Blazers. Kersey’s record was on top of several categories, including scoring, games and minutes played, assists, steals, rebounding, blocked shots, and field goals. Bill Schonely, Blazers announcer, said “Jerome was loved by everyone. This unique display will allow Portlanders to celebrate his legacy.” Schonely also mentioned that Kersey was an accomplished player who was loved by everyone he met.
It was an engineering feat to assemble the giant decoration. The process required precision planning due to the complicated design, size, and challenging site conditions. The decoration features a giant “JK25” Santa hat made with 3,800 lights, and was set on an aluminum frame. Being 32’ feet high and 34’ wide, the giant display is also mounted on front of a West Hills home set on a deep slope with sharp drop-off. Designed and built by custom metal fabricator Hanset Stainless, the display took a total of six weeks to construct, and one week to install. “This truly was a unique and challenging project,” says the project manager for Hanset Stainless, Shane Crunchie. “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 this tribute to Jerome Kersey will become Portland’s new holiday icon.
Sloy expressed that he will be displaying the “JK25 Santa Hat” every holiday season to commemorate his friend. “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.”
Fans are encouraged to Tweet #JK25 and #RetireJerseyJK25 to join the conversation around retiring Kersey’s jersey number.