The Origin of our Three-Finger Salute


Kevin Anga ’17

Here at Strake Jesuit, many different traditions encourage students to cultivate Crusader pride, respect, and appreciation of the school and its many values. One of the most popular and well-known traditions is the Three-Finger Salute. While it looks familiar, many people do not know the story behind this very important gesture. Some people do it just to do it. Hopefully, this article provides a little more insight into the true meaning of this tradition.

On September 18, 2002, Strake Jesuit was facing off against Kinkaid at a basketball tournament when a student alerted Coach Marshall that something was wrong with a fellow teammate. This teammate wore number 3, and his name was Kenneth McGregor, lying under the bench in pain. They found out he was having a heart attack and called the ambulance immediately. “Kenneth hadn’t even played yet,” said coach Marshall. “When I went over there his eyes were rolled back and his heart felt like it was about to explode.” He was rushed to St. Luke’s hospital, accompanied by all of his teammates. Unfortunately there was not much that could be done, as he later passed away.

After his death Coach Kenny, who was the current head coach for basketball, removed the MVP award from the program and replaced it with the Kenneth McGregor Award. This award is not always given to the best player, but it is given to the player who portrays sportsmanship, hard work, and other values that Kenneth embodied to the highest degree.

We remember and honor Kenneth McGregor today by putting up the three-finger salute in reference to his jersey number 3 when we sing the alma mater. Whether it is at a pep rally or a sports event, this tradition will continue to highlight what it truly means to be a Crusader.