Utah Jazz forward Royce O’Neale will return to his alma mater Harker Heights High School tonight for a jersey retirement ceremony. The event will take place before their game against Temple High School, which tips off at 7 p.m. CT.
O’Neale led Harker Heights to a 28-6 record and Texas 5A regional quarterfinals as a senior in 2010-11. He set school records in single-game scoring (39) and rebounding (21) while averaging 16.7 points and a single-season school best 10.4 rebounds a game in his final season as a Knight. He also posted 18 double-doubles and two triple-doubles in 2010-11.
The 28-year-old is in his fifth NBA season, averaging a career-high 7.3 points on 48.8 percent shooting and 40.3 percent from three, to go with 5.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.4 steals in 31.5 minutes per game. This season, he ranks second on the team in total steals (53), third in rebounds (196) and fourth in assists (98).
O’Neale has appeared in 332 games (192 starts) in five seasons with the Jazz, owning career averages of 6.0 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 25.1 minutes per contest. He’s competed in 34 postseason games (23 starts) as a Jazzman, last year posting averages of 11.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.1 steals in 11 NBA Playoff games.
The Killeen, Texas native has additional professional experience playing overseas from 2015-17. He played for Gran Canaria in Spain during the 2016-17 season, averaging 8.3 points on 44.9 percent shooting, 5.2 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 20.6 minutes in 52 games (32 starts). He was the second-
highest rated defender among all small forwards in the ACB, and also ranked second in rebound percentage (16.3) and fifth in assist percentage (17.1). He began his professional career with MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg of the German Bundesliga in 2015-16.
A four-year collegiate player, O’Neale spent two seasons at the University of Denver (2011-13) before finishing his college career at Baylor (2013-15). He averaged 10.1 points, 5.9 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.2 steals as a senior and helped lead the Bears to first-ever back-to-back NCAA Tournament
appearances. He became the first playe in program history to post 200+ rebounds (205) and 100 assists (110) in a season in 2013-14.