The first alumnus to play professional football will return to the La Cañada Flintridge school on Friday to retire his high school jersey number.
New York Giants wide receiver Ramses Barden will attend a quick ceremony in the morning and return at 3 p.m. for an informal reception, said Flintridge Prep spokeswoman Nicole Trevor, noting he was instrumental in the school's 2003 CIF victory.
Barden, who was raised in Altadena, graduated from Flintridge Prep in 2004 and played at Cal State San Luis Obispo before being drafted by the Giants. Trevor pointed out that Barden beat the odds earning a spot on the NFL roster, as Prep is a small school that played eight-man offense until the 1990s. He is the first alumnus to play pro ball, let alone for a , she added.
"Ramses is an inspiration to all young people, especially athletes who aspire to play college or professional sports.
"This year, Flintridge Prep had a difficult football season, largely because the athletes were plagued with injuries. Ramses was injured in his second season with the Giants, beat the odds, and returned to play in his third season. He is proof that with hard work, you can succeed,'' she said.
During his high school years, Barden was a three-time All-League selection, catching 41 passes for 915 yards. He had four touchdowns as a senior, while also playing free safety. An all-around athlete, Barden averaged 17 points per game in basketball and also participated in volleyball and track and field.
The ceremony will occur in a brief (15-minute) assembly in the school’s Norris Auditorium. After school, Ramses will return for an informal celebration in the school’s Chandramohan Library.