The National Hockey League lockout means fans and players are missing out on their beloved sport. But for one player, it means he can come home to be inducted into his high school's sports hall of fame.
R.J. Umberger, hockey pro and assistant captain of the Columbus Blue Jackets, will be inducted into the Plum High School Sports Hall of Fame on Thursday, Nov. 8. A ceremony will be held at the Edgewood Country Club for Umberger and his fellow nominees—Rob Carter, Matt Cassidy, Joe Ionta, Jill Markowski-Kiss, John Moses, Marty Scarano, Scott Urch and Cara Yannotti-Clayton.
Social hour begins at 5:30 p.m. and dinner is at 7 p.m. The ticket deadline is Monday, Nov. 5. The cost is $40 per person. To request a ticket, click here.
Umberger was a member of the Plum Mustangs Varsity Hockey team from 1996 to 1998. During his career at Plum, he scored 108 goals, 79 assists and 187 points in 48 games. He was the first Pittsburgh player to make the USA Under-18 National Team, competing domestically and internationally from 1998 to 2000.
Umberger received a full athletic scholarship to Ohio State University, where he earned the Central Collegiate Hockey Association Rookie of the Year Award, All-Rookie Team, OSU's Leading Scorer Award and OSU's Team Most Valuable Freshman his freshman year.
During his sophomore year, he earned the university's Leading Scorer Award and was an OSU Scholar Athlete. In his junior year, he received CCHA’s 1st Team All-Star, 2nd-Team West All-American, top 10 Hobey Baker Finalist for top player in college hockey, OSU’s Leading Scorer Award, OSU Scholar Athlete and Big Ten All Academic Team.
During the 2001 NHL draft, Umberger was the first Pittsburgh player to be selected in the first round—he was the Vancouver Canucks' first pick. He signed as a free agent with the Philadelphia Flyers in 2004 and has been playing for the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2008.
He has been involved with community service for Down Syndrome and Cystic Fibrosis foundations.
In 2011, Umberger completed his bachelor degree in Business Marketing from Ohio University. He is married to his Plum High School classmate, Cara McDade Umberger. They have two children.
Check back for the biographies of the other Plum High School Hall of Fame Inductees.