Biloxi's Ronald Dupree the backbone for Coach John Brady's LSU Tigers basketball team the past two seasons has become an impact player in the Southeastern Conference.
The 6 foot 6, 210 pound second team All-SEC selection led LSU with 16 points and 8.5 rebounds per game, leading the Tigers into the NIT.
Dupree has been instrumental in LSU's resurgence and will be a major factor in the 2002-2003 season, after deciding to return for his senior campaign instead of turning pro.
Ronald was honored in a special ceremony at Michel Junior High. The school retired his jersey number 12. The special glass enclosed frame containing the jersey will always be displayed in the Michel Junior High gym.
Dupree said, "I'm surprised, appreciative and thankful for this honor and just happy. This place is special. It was the place I use to run around in, play ball and hang around with my friends. It's great to be able to come back and be honored like this."
Dupree's mom, Dianne, had a big impact on his life, making sure he excelled in the classroom besides on the basketball court. He graduated from Biloxi High School with honors.
Dianne said, "I'm very thankful at this time. I'm very blessed for his middle school teachers and faculty for what they have done for Ronald. I just want to thank everyone for everything they did today."
Ronald Dupree decided to return for his senior campaign because he wants to leave LSU with a degree. That was his main goal when he decided to attend college and he's on pace in accomplishing his academic goal. He would also like to give professional basketball a shot and he'll do that once he completes his senior year.