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Alumnus basketball player and athletics director at podium

Yaks pay tribute to Beauchamp with jersey retirement

While MarJon Beauchamp only played in 12 games for Yakima Valley College’s men’s basketball program during its pandemic-shortened 2020-21 season, the Yakima native put on a transcendent performance.

On August 9, the college recognized the former Yak and current Milwaukee Bucks forward with its first-ever jersey retirement. During a ceremony that drew approximately 150 community members, Beauchamp’s No. 13 home and away jerseys — alongside a Bucks and G League Ignite jersey — were unveiled in a display behind the basket at the west end of Sherar Gymnasium.

Athletics Director Ray Funk noted Beauchamp’s exceptional talents, unwavering dedication and remarkable achievements during his time at YVC paved the way for him to become one of only a handful of Northwest Athletic Conference alumni to ever play in the NBA.

“Watching MarJon play, it was clear that he was a cut above,” Funk said.

Basketball player signs fan's shoe
TOP: Former YVC men's basketball standout MarJon Beauchamp, right, with YVC Athletics Director Ray Funk during August 2023 jersey retirement ceremony. ABOVE: Beauchamp signs a fan's shoe following the jersey retirement ceremony.

After playing high school basketball in Seattle and Arizona, Beauchamp returned to his hometown and averaged 30.7 points to lead the conference during the 2020-2021 season. He also averaged 10.5 rebounds (No. 5 in the NWAC) and 4.8 assists per game playing the wing position for the Yaks while shooting 40% from 3-point range.

While Beauchamp signed with the NBA’s G League Ignite program following that season, Funk also credited him for helping elevate the Yaks basketball program, which would go on to claim the 2022 NWAC championship.

“Having someone like MarJon as a teammate, it pushes and motivates you,” Funk said. “That made a difference for our team and the run we made to the championship.”

Demonstrating a combination of athleticism, defensive versatility and length while playing in the G League, Beauchamp’s NBA dreams came true in June 2022, when the Milwaukee Bucks drafted him with the 24th overall pick. Beauchamp joined a roster alongside star players Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday and, during his first season with the Bucks, averaged 5.1 points and 2.2 rebounds while playing 13.5 minutes per game, including 11 starts.

But Beachamp’s achievements go beyond the basketball court. During the jersey retirement ceremony Men’s Basketball Head Coach London Wilson noted his support for his teammates and contributions to the Yakima Valley community.

“He’s used his platform to give back to our community and inspire children about what they can achieve,” Wilson said.

Former basketball player poses with college staff
MarJon Beauchamp, center, poses with college staff (left to right): Athletics Director Ray Funk, President Linda Kaminski, Vice President of Administrative Services Teresa Rich and Men's Basketball Head Coach London Wilson.

During his August visit to Yakima, Beauchamp also hosted a basketball camp at Eisenhower High School for 200 children and spent time in the community visiting with children and giving away school supplies, bikes and lawnmowers and grills for parents. He also was honored during an event in downtown Yakima at which he was presented a Hometown Hero award, a Crystal Apple from the city of Yakima and a key to the city from Grandview mayor Gloria Mendoza.

Beauchamp said he was humbled by the honor of having his legacy at YVC remembered with the retirement of his jersey.

“I need to credit my grandma for helping me keep the faith when I almost gave up basketball,” Beauchamp said. “I want to thank YVC for being part of my journey.”