Strength in Numbers


Numbers are important. Numbers hold varying levels of importance for everyone, but one place numbers show their value is on the field, court, or arena.

For players, numbers are their identity as well as their motive. 

“It depends who you are,” said sophomore basketball player Aidan Degretto. “It can reflect your past, or who you want to be if you have a specific number.”

A jersey number can be in homage to someone significant to a player.

“7 is my favorite number, and 6 is the day my mom was born,” said senior football player Andreas ‘Dre’ Landis.

While their homage is usually dedicated to someone in and essential to a player’s life, it isn’t always.

“I originally wanted 57, cause it has relation to the day my grandpa died,” said senior football player Khan Shaw. “99 is also [worn by] my favorite player in NFL history, JJ Watt, so I chose that when I couldn’t get 57.” 

A jersey number’s motivation translates to a sense of confidence when you take the field. Your number is a reminder of what you’re playing for.

“My grandpa signed me up and I didn’t even want to play in the first place,” said Khan. “I was very close with him, he was my only father figure.” 

This reverence acts as a driving force that motivates players to perform their best. 

“I had number 4, that was my grandpa’s favorite,” said freshmen basketball player Jack Berry. “I definitely played better when that number was on my jersey.” 

A jersey number can be stylistic, and operate as another source of confidence. 

“Just a cool number,” said Aiden Degretto. “I thought it looked cool on a jersey.”

Something as simple as having a number that you think is cool can induce you to feel better than you would otherwise.

“You look good, you feel good, you play good,” said Khan. “It gives me a lot of confidence when I go out onto the field.”

Jersey numbers’ strength to the players wearing them is a force that’s crucial to sports that have their players identified through numbers. 

“Wanting to perform my best. That’s what motivates me,” said Degretto. “[When I feel like I’ve gotten better] I’ll keep the number.”