Jerome Kersey, who during the 1990s, was instrumental in leading the Portland Trail Blazers to the NBA finals twice and winning the NBA title with the San Antonio Spurs during a playing career of 17 years, has died.
Just two days ago, Kersey appeared at a high school in Portland to honor Black History Month with former Blazers teammates Brian Grant and Terry Porter.
The following day, Kersey was rushed by ambulance to a hospital where he died. Earlier this week, Kersey underwent knee surgery.
The Oregon medical examiner’s office announced on Thursday that Kersey had died due to a blood clot breaking loose from his calf and traveling to his lungs, which caused a pulmonary thromboembolism. The Medical Examiner said the clot could have been caused from his surgery earlier in the week or could have existed prior to the surgery.
From 1985 until 2001, Kersey at small forward averaged 10.2 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. He played for Portland, the Los Angeles Lakers, Golden State Warriors, Seattle Supersonics, Milwaukee Bucks and the San Antonio Spurs. He was a Trail Blazer for 11 seasons.
In 1999, Kersey won his only NBA Championship with the Spurs after reaching the finals in 1990 and again in 1992 with Portland.
Kersey was the director of alumni relations with Portland when he died and was part of the social responsibility department of the team.
Neil Olshey the President of the Trail Blazers said Kersey was a huge influence on the players as a role model for life after the NBA.
Kersey was born in Clarksville, Virginia and played college at Longwood University from 1980 to 1984 in Farmville, Virginia, with the school was a Division II team.
In 1984, Kersey was a first All-American in Division II. In 2005, the school made him a member of the Hall of Fame and in 2006, he completed his undergraduate degree at the school.
Kersey is survived by Kiara his daughter, Teri his wife and Teri’s children Maddie, Brendan and McKenzie, according to the website of Longwood University.