‘I’m so humbly grateful.’ Dominguez honors alums Tyson Chandler and Tayshaun Prince

Standing side by side in the middle of the Compton Dominguez gym on Friday night holding their framed basketball jerseys were No. 32, Tyson Chandler, and No. 21, Tayshaun Prince, Dons for life and two of the greatest players from Southern California.

The moment was a long time coming for the school and community, honoring individuals who were not only historic players but true role models.

“Honestly, these are going to be some of the best moments of your life,” Chandler told members of this season’s Dominguez basketball team in the weight room before their game against Downey. “Don’t take none of these moments for granted. This is going to be your brothers for life. Things, what you go through together is what makes you bond. You’ll never have this again.”

Prince told the same players, “Whether basketball or whatever it may be, first have that vision to be great. What’s happening to me today is because I had a vision that I wanted to be great. I had obstacles along the way, ups and downs, how you get back up after you get knocked down.”

Each won an Olympic gold medal. Each won an NBA championship. Each won a state championship. In high school, from 1995 to 1998, the 6-foot-9 Prince won four Southern Section titles and two state titles. He was a first-round draft pick out of Kentucky and played from 2002 to 2016 in the NBA. The 7-foot Chandler played with Prince his freshman year at Dominguez and was profiled on CBS’ “60 Minutes” as an eighth-grader. He was the second pick overall in the 2001 NBA draft by the Clippers coming straight out of Dominguez and played in the NBA until 2020.

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Chandler’s former high school teammate, Bobby Jones, did the lobbying and organization to finally get the first two of what should be many Dominguez players to have their jerseys retired. Next up surely will be Hall of Famer Dennis Johnson of Celtics fame.

“Retiring their jerseys and actually seeing someone come out of your high school and be able to be successful, that’s big for our community and our kids to see,” Dominguez coach Jonathan Davis said.

One Dominguez player said “thank you” to Prince for coming back to talk to the team. It’s that kind of appreciation that certainly will be motivation for others to return soon.

There’s a mural on a wall at Dominguez featuring Prince, Chandler and football’s Richard Sherman, honoring them as Dons and champions.

Chandler stood next to the mural on Friday night feeling emotional. “This is where it all started,” he said wearing an L.A. cap. “To be able to come back here and have a mural up and my jersey retired, I’m so humbly grateful. It’s a great proud moment. I appreciate the love. Some great memories here.”

Prince, asked about his success, said he had the right support system and a vision “to make it to the NBA and whatever was going to be in my path, I wasn’t going to allow it to happen.”

Prince, 42, now works for the Memphis Grizzlies as vice president of basketball affairs. Chandler, 40, is a player development coach for the Dallas Mavericks, the team he helped win their first NBA championship in 2011.

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It was a night for jersey retirements. Huntington Beach Marina retired the jerseys of Cherokee Parks and Rich Branning. And Long Beach St. Anthony honored guard Darrick Martin with a jersey retirement.

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