Written by Staff Writer – Heat Zone
Hassan Whiteside received support from assistant coach Octavio De La Grana, Bam Adebayo, coach Erik Spoelstra, Goran Dragic and James Johnson on Thursday when his number was retired at East Side High in Newark. (Photo courtesy Miami Heat)
NEW YORK – Hassan Whiteside already was excited about being honored by one of his former high schools, but the day became more special when a familiar face walked through the door.
“I knew a couple of my teammates were going to show up,” Whiteside said today as the Heat prepared for their game tonight at Brooklyn.
“Coach Spo surprised me. He came and it meant a lot.”
Erik Spoelstra along with assistant Octavio De La Grana, James Johnson, Goran Dragic and Bam Adebayo made the journey from New York City, across the river to East Side High School in Newark, N.J., on Thursday to support the 7-foot center, whose No. 32 was retired.
“His face when he saw coach Spo, he was ecstatic and it kind of gives you those goose bump feelings that he really does care,” Johnson said. “It was a just big night for Hassan. I’m glad I got to be a part of it.”