Baltimore Sun - Roddy Peters heard all the chatter this summer when the incoming Maryland freshman point guard’s jersey was listed as No. 3, an iconic number in College Park last worn by Maryland Hall of Famer Juan Dixon.
But before the team’s three-game tour of the Bahamas in early August, Maryland coach Mark Turgeon announced that the former Suitland High star would go down a digit — to No. 2 — and wear a much less notable number.
It turns out that Turgeon wasn’t the one to nix the idea of Peters wearing a number that hangs from the ceiling of Comcast Center and belongs to Maryland’s all-time leading scorer. Dixon, who has been more of a presence around the program since his NBA career ended, was apparently not on board with the idea.
“I kind of wanted to wear 3 because I have a little sister, a big sister and my mother, I was going to wear 3 for them,” Peters said during the team’s media day Tuesday. “I knew there was a lot of pressure wearing Juan Dixon’s number, and I wanted to see if I could wear it. Coach Turgeon was going to let me wear it, but a week later, he called me and said, ‘Juan said, ‘Nah.’ ’ It was fine.”
It was also disappointing to Peters. Two of his favorite players growing up were Dixon and Allen Iverson, who also wore No. 3 throughout his college and pro playing career. Peters wore Nos. 1 and 5 at Suitland, purposely staying away from No. 3.
“I was trying to wear it when I got to college,” Peters said with a smile.
I love Juan Dixon. As a life long Maryland fan, it is hard to say a bad word about him. Born and raised in the city, then brought us a national championship in 2002. Even had a decent role-player career in the NBA, mainly with the Wizards. But at some point, he has to let go.
You have to keep in mind “Maryland doesn’t retire numbers of former players. Instead, the school honors them by placing the players’ names and numbers on banners hanging at Comcast Center.” So it’s not like it’s really his number to do what he wants with. Allowing someone else to wear number 3 won’t tarnish Juan’s legacy. It’s just a uniform number, his records and hero-status will remain even if someone else has on number 3.
So at what point does Dixon decide someone else can wear “his” number? By all accounts, Peters is the perfect guy to wear it. He’s a 4 star recruit from the area. He was recruited by places like Kansas and Georgetown and Memphis but wanted to be a Terp. And he purposely didn’t wear the number 3 in high school because he understands what it means to wear it. Juan, you did great things for Maryland, but it’s time to drop the ego. Sorry your NBA career didn’t pan out bro, but no need to take it out on Roddy.