SPOKANE, Wash. -- Former WSU and NFL star Steve Gleason was honored Friday night at Gonzaga Prep's homecoming game.
Gleason's number 34 was formally retired at half-time. Although Gleason was not in attendance, he did attend a small ceremony in August the school held in honor of him. On Friday, Gleason’s father and step-mother accepted the jersey retirement on his behalf.
Gleason became the sixth player in Gonzaga Prep’s history to be awarded with the honor. The others are football players Rob Hedquist and Tim Lappano and basketball players John Stockton, Lisa Oriard and Terry Kelly.
As part of the ceremony, Prep students performed a choreographed routine wearing Gleason’s number. The student body spelled out the number 34 in a formation on the field.
Gleason was a two-time GSL Defensive MVP as a dominating Bullpup linebacker in the mid-90’s and is a member of the Gonzaga Prep Hall of Fame. He went on to star at linebacker at WSU and played for the New Orleans Saints from 2000-2008 as a standout special teams player and safety.
Gleason was diagnosed with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, in January 2011. ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) is considered a terminal neuro-muscular disease. He has since dedicated his life to Team Gleason, an organization created by him, his friends and family that generates public awareness for ALS and raises funding to empower ALS patients.