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Victor Cruz gets his high school jersey number retired

VICTOR CRUZ GETS HIGH SCHOOL JERSEY NUMBER RETIRED

BY MATT COHEN


Before the Super Bowl, before the salsa, and before the fame, Victor Cruz was a wide receiver and defensive back on the Paterson Catholic High School 2003 All-State football team./p>

Thirteen years later, the Giants' wide receiver returned to his hometown to have his Number 9 jersey retired. It's a symbolic retirement, since Paterson Catholic closed its doors in 2010.

The evening wasn't just to celebrate Cruz. It was largely to honor the memory of the late Jordan Cleaves, a teammate of Cruz who was one year ahead of Victor. Cleaves died 12 years ago in an automobile crash.

"That was the lynchpin for doing all this," Cruz told NorthJersey.com. "The reason that I'm behind this is — and obviously Coach [Benjie} Wimberly putting that part of it together made me want to do this even more — was we want to honor his memory. We just want to remember how great of a person he was, the things that he's done, and continue to shine a positive light on that. We want to continue to keep his name and his story alive."

All proceeds from the evening (admission and silent auction) benefited the Jordan Cleaves Scholarship Fund at Virginia State University.

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