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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

What's in a number?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Numbers mean different things to different people.

Business owners have the bottom line.

Stock brokers watch the numerical ups and downs of Wall Street.

Politicians have approval ratings and poll results.

Musicians push for higher numbers on the charts and in their crowds.

A slew of numbers are important to athletes -- from points and rebounds to percentages and, of course, the score at the end of the game or series.

And then there's the number they wear.

Some numbers are more popular than others.

For example, only seven of 345 teams in NCAA Division I basketball had a player wearing No. 53.

Providence's Mike Murray joked that he "got shafted," noting that he could only think of NFL linebackers who had donned the number. New Mexico center Alex Kirk honors a fellow Los Alamos native with his jersey. Clint Chapman, from Texas, started wearing No. 53 out of necessity, as it was the only jersey large enough to fit him. Now, he's proud to have a number not worn by any current high-profile stars.

Ohio center Ethan Jacobs also cherishes the chance to be unique. He's the first Bobcats player to ever wear the number.

In a day and age of duplication and imitation, it's refreshing to see individuals taking advantage of the opportunity to be unique.

With this particular example, they are not doing something that has never been done before.

Artis Gilmore, of the Chicago Bulls and San Antonio Spurs, and Utah Jazz "lifer" Mark Eaton wore No. 53 quite well, starting in the '70s and '80s, respectively. Gilmore's best numbers came in the American Basketball Association days, but he still averaged double digit points and rebounds. Eaton didn't average double digits in anything, but was known for blocking shots. His No. 53 is in the rafters in Salt Lake City for his defensive prowess.

Buck Williams and David Robinson were the only other two players to have a jersey with a number in the 50s retired.

It's a select group, but there is always a chance for it to grow larger.

All it takes is for young people to break the mold in one way or another and work to make their number known for something.

People in all walks of life have this same opportunity. Thankfully, individuals aren't just identified by numbers.

But, everyone has a chance to be known for something.

Will it just be a number on a chest or the number of people impacted by one's life?



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Gabe Licht
Junior Moments