Beloved Blazer Jerome Kersey dies


This is known as a “rim rattler.”

Former Trail Blazer Jerome Kersey died Feb. 18 at his home in Lake Oswego of a pulmonary embolism caused by a blood clot. He was 52.

Kersey lived an eventful life, highlighted by the time he spent in the NBA. He spent 17 seasons in the league, 11 of which he spent playing for the Blazers. He was a second round pick by the Blazers, played small forward and was a vital part of the 1990 and 1992 teams that made it to the NBA finals. His time in Portland was ended when he was left unprotected in the 1995 NBA expansion draft and was taken by the Toronto Raptors. At the time, he was third in minutes played, scoring, and steals; and second in games played, rebounding, and blocked shots for the Trail Blazers. He played college basketball at Longwood College, where he set the school record for points (on 57% shooting), rebounds, steals, and blocked shots. He was inducted into the first Hall of Fame class at Longwood in 2005.

Once he heard the news, current Blazers star Damian Lillard tweeted, “Spoke to him regularly about life and the ups and downs of a NBA season. Gone too soon, much love!”

After his time in the NBA, Kersey went on to be an assistant coach under former teammate Terry Porter for the Milwaukee Bucks for one year. He later became a Blazers ambassador, a position he held until his death. He could also be found on Comcast Sportsnet Northwest during the Trail Blazers broadcasts.

“He was the greatest guy, the nicest friend, teammate and brother. He was loved by everyone. We will all miss him. He just cared so much,” said teammate Clyde Drexler. “This is unbelievable.”

Kersey leaves behind his loving wife Teri, a daughter, Kiara, and a granddaughter named Harley.