On March 17, 2012, Sam Dekker hit arguably the greatest shot in Wisconsin high school basketball history. This shot occurred in the 2012 WIAA Boys Division 5 Championship game against Racine Lutheran as he propelled his school to a 67-66 victory. Over five years later, Sam Dekker will be honored in Sheboygan on July 28 with a jersey retirement ceremony as well as having the day itself named after him.
In his two season with the varsity basketball team for Sheboygan Area Lutheran High School, Sam Dekker averaged 29.4 points per game and singlehandedly carried his team to a 23-3 record during his senior season. In addition to his championship winning shot, Dekker scored 40 points in the game, including 12 in the last 50 seconds. This legendary performance made Dekker a household name in Wisconsin as he was about to join the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s basketball team that fall.
As a starter for the Wisconsin Badgers, Dekker led the team to two Final Four appearances and averaged over 12 points per game along with 5.0 rebounds per game over the course of his three year college career. His most famous moment at Wisconsin was his “Dekker Dagger” against Arizona in the Elite Eight which looked eerily similar to his iconic high school shot. Dekker finished that game with a career-high 27 points and was named West Regional Most Outstanding Player during the 2015 NCAA Division I Basketball Tournament as a result. Dekker eventually left college after his junior year and was drafted in the first round by the Houston Rockets in 2015.
According to McLean Bennett, a writer for USA Today Network-Wisconsin, Sheboygan’s Mayor, Mike Vandersteen, declared that this Friday will be Sam Dekker Day in the city of Sheboygan. This day will also include a jersey retirement ceremony at Sheboygan Area Lutheran High School.
Mayor Bennett spoke very kindly about Dekker in his declaration regarding his basketball success as well as being a positive role model for others.
“He is a role model to our youth showing that with hard work and dedication it is possible to realize your dreams,” he said.
In addition to honoring Dekker specifically, the high school will also broadly honor the entire lineup from its 2012 state championship team and has invited players from that season to attend. The ceremony will commence at 4 p.m. where several speakers, including Dekker’s father, will address the crowd.
Carmen Dolson, an executive assistant in the high school’s development office, stated publicly that the school expects former University of Wisconsin-Madison men’s basketball coach Bo Ryan to attend the Dekker’s ceremony.
Dekker is expected to stick around after the ceremony to sign autographs at the school later that evening.