The Truth Staff
On a very cold Saturday afternoon, a large crowd of Dennis Hopson supporters gathered at the corner of Elysian Avenue and Dorr Street to witness the unveiling of a new street sign – a street sign designating Elysian as Dennis Hopson Way.
Such honors happen frequently in Toledo but the size of the crowd that gathered on Saturday to honor Hopson was truly unprecedented.
“We’ve been working on this a long time,” said Toledo Councilman John Hobbs, III, a childhood friend of Hopson and the driving force behind the honor for the Lourdes University Men’s Basketball Coach of naming the street where Hopson’s childhood home was located.
“Today is an example to young men … and women … that there is another way,” Hobbs continued while addressing the large crowd containing Hopson’s family and friends, various teammates from past years, his Lourdes basketball team, Lourdes colleagues an staff and elected officials.
Hopson, a 1982 Bowsher graduate, the all-time leading scorer in Ohio State University history and an NBA champion with the Chicago Bulls, became coach of Lourdes Gray Wolves men’s basketball team in 2019 and led the team to a conference tournament championship in the 2021-22 season. The team is 10-4 so far this year in conference play and 16-6 overall.
“Of all the places Coach Hopson could have lived, he came back to Toledo,” said Hobbs of the athletic hero whose playing days took him to New Jersey, Chicago, Sacramento and overseas to Spain, France, the Philippines, Turkey, Israel and Venezuela. Hopson’s coaching years were spent in West Palm Beach, Florida, Bowling Green State University, Bedford High School in Temperance, Michigan before he returned home to Toledo.
Before uncovering the new street sign, Hopson thanked those in the audience profusely for helping him every step of the way.
“I thank each and every one of you,” he said. “It’s really not about me, it’s about what we can do for each other … if I was able to do it, it can be dome because of the people I had around me.
“It can be done,” Hopson continued. “It’s all what you put into it. I think doing the right thing and putting the energy and the time and the dedication and commitment into your craft, then anything can happen.”