FRIDAY SPORTS NEWS/Virginia school will honor the late Trail Blazers great, who starred there before his lengthy NBA career
The late Jerome Kersey will be honored by his alma mater, Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, with the naming of its basketball floor Jerome Kersey Court in a ceremony on Saturday, Dec. 3.
Kersey, who starred for the Trail Blazers and in a 17-year NBA career, died Feb. 19, 2015. The 6-7 forward hailed from Clarksville, Va., and played for the Longwood Lancers in NCAA Division II, before going on to compete in 831 of his 1,153 NBA regular-season games for Portland during 11 years in a Blazers uniform.
He won an NBA title with San Antonio in 1999 and took part in two NBA dunk contests, finishing second to Michael Jordan in 1987.
Kersey, who died at age 52, served as a Blazers ambassador and was active in numerous charitable causes after his playing career.
The ceremony will take place before Longwoods game against James Madison in Willett Hall.
"There is no person more deserving of having his name emblazoned on our court than Jerome," Longwood athletic director Troy Austin said in a statement. "For decades, Jerome was an ambassador not just for Longwood basketball, but Longwood University. He gained his initial fame for his spectacular play on the court, but more importantly, he used his platform as an athlete to affect his community in an exceptional manner."
Kersey was the keynote speaker at Longwoods 2009 commencement.
After his death, "We visited Portland to meet with the Trail Blazers, and I was blown away by how they admire Jerome just as much there as we do here in Farmville," Austin said. "That's a direct result of the person Jerome was and the commitment he had to bettering the world around him. He is a shining example of the impact we strive for athletics to have on our athletes and community here at Longwood."