TOLEDO, Ohio — Who would have thought nearly a half century ago that Toledo kid Dennis Hopson would one day have a street in his neighborhood named after him?
That's exactly what happened on Saturday as the corner of Dorr St. and Elysian Ave. was dedicated as Dennis Hopson Way.
The 1982 Bowsher graduate, Ohio State basketball star, NBA champion and successful college coach says he feels blessed at the honor.
"I'm happy to be able to experience it… with the rest of my family and closest friends and neighborhood friends they were able to experience it. So I'm excited and blessed," said Hopson..
After graduating out of Toledo Public Schools, Hopson became the leading scorer for the Ohio State Buckeyes and then a top 5 pick in the 1987 NBA draft.
Hopson then went on to play basketball with Michael Jordan for the Chicago Bulls in Jordan's first ever championship season.
"It can be done. It's all what you put into it. I think doing the right things and putting the energy and the time and the dedication and commitment into your craft, anything can happen," said Hopson.
Hundreds of people attended the naming ceremony, including one of Hopson's mentors.
"It's just good to have someone recognize that its meant so much to our town and our state. Dennis has been a leader and a pillar to our community for year in and year out and I'm glad that he's given us a platform to come out in peace, love, and harmony which we want for our whole city," said Steven "Bubby" Corggens, Lourdes assistant basketball coach and Hopson's mentor and friend.
Those who helped support Hopson through his journey say the next step is supporting the next generation by showing them there is hope.
It's something Hopson has been doing for years and continues to do with the young men at Lourdes University who have NBA dreams of their own.
"Understand that the people in your neighborhoods are not your enemies. If we have more peace here more great things like this will happen beyond belief," said Coach Corggens.
District 1 Toledo City Councilperson John Hobbs III, is one of the supporters who helped make Saturday's celebration happen.
"He could live anywhere. He could be anywhere, but he came back to Toledo to show our young people that you can do it too. So, our young people need to see with all the violence that is taking place … there is another way," said Hobbs.
Dennis Hopson is glad to share his success in hopes of motivating others.
"For people to see what this day looked like and how it went, I can't ask for anything more."
MORE FROM WTOL 11: