Since getting drafted in the first round in 2015, Kevon Looney has been to the NBA Finals three times in his three seasons and won two championships with the Golden State Warriors. Though he’s mostly played a reserve role, at just 22 years old, he’s had one of the most successful starts to a professional basketball career in league history and has continued the winning tradition he first established in Milwaukee.
On Friday, Looney will return to the city for a homecoming celebration and citywide peace rally at the Northside YMCA. The event, presented by Running Rebels Pause 4 Peace Campaign in conjunction with the City of Milwaukee Health Department’s Office of Violence Prevention, will honor Looney as a hometown hero and role model.
Looney, who starred at Milwaukee Hamilton High School before spending one season at UCLA and being drafted, participated for many years in youth activities with the Running Rebels Community Organization, including playing on its elite basketball teams. On numerous occasions in the past, he’s publicly praised the organization and attributed much of his success to its programs.
On June 29, from 2 to 3:30 p.m., Looney will be in attendance at the Northside YMCA, 1350 W. North Ave., along with both NBA championship trophies and various guest speakers from around the city, for the event.
"This is going to be an exciting celebration of Milwaukee’s native son, Kevon Looney," said Common Council President Ashanti Hamilton. "Mr. Looney exemplifies not only the talent that exists in Milwaukee’s youth, but also the perseverance, tenacity and resilience that should be honored and uplifted in our young men and women throughout the city."
After an injury-plagued rookie year in 2015-16, Looney has improved each of the last two seasons. In 2017-18, the 6-foot-9, 220-pound power forward/center played in 66 games, making four starts, and finished with averages of 4.0 points and 3.3 rebounds per game for the Warriors, who won their second straight title. On Jan. 12, Looney returned to Milwaukee and had his best game of the season up to that point, posting nine points, eight rebounds and three assists in 23 minutes in Golden State’s victory over the Bucks.
In addition to the YMCA, the Running Rebels Community Organization and the City of Milwaukee Health Department-Office of Violence Prevention, the other sponsors of the Looney homecoming celebration are SNEEX, Dream Keepers, Body Armor Super Drink, Gruber Law Offices and Kiss.
Born in Milwaukee but a product of Shorewood High School (go ‘Hounds!) and Northwestern University (go ‘Cats!), Jimmy never knew the schoolboy bliss of cheering for a winning football, basketball or baseball team. So he ditched being a fan in order to cover sports professionally - occasionally objectively, always passionately. He's lived in Chicago, New York and Dallas, but now resides again in his beloved Brew City and is an ardent attacker of the notorious Milwaukee Inferiority Complex.
After interning at print publications like Birds and Blooms (official motto: "America's #1 backyard birding and gardening magazine!"), Sports Illustrated (unofficial motto: "Subscribe and save up to 90% off the cover price!") and The Dallas Morning News (a newspaper!), Jimmy worked for web outlets like CBSSports.com, where he was a Packers beat reporter, and FOX Sports Wisconsin, where he managed digital content. He's a proponent and frequent user of em dashes, parenthetical asides, descriptive appositives and, really, anything that makes his sentences longer and more needlessly complex.
Jimmy appreciates references to late '90s Brewers and Bucks players and is the curator of the unofficial John Jaha Hall of Fame. He also enjoys running, biking and soccer, but isn't too annoying about them. He writes about sports - both mainstream and unconventional - and non-sports, including history, music, food, art and even golf (just kidding!), and welcomes reader suggestions for off-the-beaten-path story ideas.