Kersey in 2003
June 26, 1962|
|Died||February 18, 2015
|Listed height||6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)|
|Listed weight||215 lb (98 kg)|
|High school||Bluestone (Skipwith, Virginia)|
|NBA draft||1984 / Round: 2 / Pick: 46th overall|
|Selected by the Portland Trail Blazers|
|Number||25, 7, 12|
|1984–1995||Portland Trail Blazers|
|1995–1996||Golden State Warriors|
|1996–1997||Los Angeles Lakers|
|1999–2000||San Antonio Spurs|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NBA statistics|
|Points||11,825 (10.3 ppg)|
|Rebounds||6,339 (5.5 rpg)|
|Steals||1,439 (1.2 spg)|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
Jerome Kersey (June 26, 1962 – February 18, 2015) was an American professional basketball player in the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played for the Portland Trail Blazers (1984–1995), Golden State Warriors (1995–96), Los Angeles Lakers (1996–97), Seattle SuperSonics (1997–98), San Antonio Spurs (1998–2000), and Milwaukee Bucks (2000–01).
The Trail Blazers selected Kersey in the second round of the 1984 NBA draft from Longwood University (then Longwood College) in Farmville, Virginia. He was a member of the Spurs during their 1999 NBA Finals victory over the New York Knicks. Following his playing career, Kersey worked with his former Portland teammate and then-head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks Terry Porter as an assistant in 2005. Kersey died from a pulmonary embolism caused by a blood clot at his home in Tualatin, Oregon on February 18, 2015.
Kersey attended the then Longwood College, at the time a NCAA Division II school, where he set school records for points, rebounds, steals and blocked shots while making 57% of his baskets. As a senior, his rebounding average of 14.2 led all Division II players. However, it was not until May 2006 that Kersey graduated from Longwood, having only needed two more college courses to graduate for some years.
Coming from a school that was not known as a basketball powerhouse, Kersey was selected in the second round of the 1984 NBA draft (46th overall pick) by Portland. He was a regular contributor from the bench, eventually becoming a starter, and by his third year, he began to shine, even coming in second behind Michael Jordan in the NBA Slam-Dunk Competition.
The following season, 1987–88, was his best statistically, as he averaged 19.2 points and 8.3 rebounds. He became a starter and was part of the nucleus of a strong Portland team, along with Clyde Drexler, Terry Porter, Buck Williams, and Kevin Duckworth that made it to the NBA Finals two out of the next three years (in 1990 and 1992). However, in subsequent years Clifford Robinson would take his place and Kersey found himself spending more time on the bench.
By 1995, Portland had several talented forwards, and he was left unprotected in that year's expansion draft, when he was selected by the Toronto Raptors, but they waived him before the 1995–96 season began. He signed on with the Golden State Warriors, where he started 58 games, and had an altercation with Latrell Sprewell, which resulted in the latter threatening to bring a gun to practice. At the end of that calendar year, Kersey signed with the Los Angeles Lakers as a free agent, and he had a quite productive year, logging his most playing time in five seasons – because trades and injuries had left the Lakers thin. The following season (1997–98) saw him go to his fourth team in four years, but injuries kept him out of the Seattle SuperSonics' lineup for most of the season.
For the lockout-shortened 1998–99 season, Kersey found himself on the San Antonio Spurs, providing front-court depth and experience off the bench in the team's title run, although his scoring, rebounding, and minutes played were all career lows. He stayed with the Spurs for another season and, on the hunt for one last NBA Title, spent one final season in the NBA with the Milwaukee Bucks, who fell short in the Eastern Conference Finals. He then retired at the conclusion of the 2000–01 season.
As a Portland Trail Blazer, Kersey was near the top in many of Portland's career categories at the time of his leaving, including games played (second), minutes played (third), scoring (third), rebounding (second), assists (sixth), steals (third), field goals made (fourth), and blocked shots (second).
Following his retirement in 2001, Kersey served as a coach in various capacities for several teams. For a short time, Kersey worked for Wells Fargo home mortgages. During the 2003–04 NBA season, Kersey was hired by the Trail Blazers to serve as director of player programs. After a season in that capacity, Kersey was hired as an assistant coach by the Milwaukee Bucks, where he served under his former Portland teammate, head coach Terry Porter. He served with the Bucks for one year, but was let go (along with Mike Schuler, who coached both Kersey and Porter while in Portland) on May 6, 2005. Porter was subsequently fired as the Bucks' coach later that year. For a period of time following, Kersey joined the automotive industry as an auto wholesaler.
In 2008, Kersey was inducted into the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame and was selected to receive the 2015 recipient of the William Henry Ruffner Alumni Award, the highest award given to a Longwood alumni.
Kersey married his girlfriend of over 9 years, Teri (Teresa Folsom) Donnerberg, on September 21, 2013, at the Columbia Edgewater Country Club in Portland, Oregon. Together, they have four children from previous relationships. Kersey has one daughter, Kiara, and one granddaughter, Harley Rae. Teri Kersey has three children from a previous marriage: two daughters, Makenzie and Maddie, and one son, Brendan.
On February 18, 2015, Kersey died suddenly at the age of 52. Lake Oswego Fire Department responded to a call from Kersey's home shortly after 5 pm, and he was taken to Legacy Meridian Park Medical Center in Tualatin, Oregon where he died. Just days prior to his death, Kersey underwent knee surgery. On the day of his death, he left the Trail Blazers' Rose Quarter office because he was not feeling well. Medical examiners linked his death to a blood clot that traveled to his lungs, causing a pulmonary embolism.
NBA career statistics
|1996–97||L. A. Lakers||70||44||25.2||.432||.262||.602||5.2||1.3||1.7||.7||6.8|
|1997||L. A. Lakers||9||0||23.3||.486||.000||.789||5.3||1.6||1.0||.7||5.4|
- "Longwood University Lancers". longwoodlancers.com. Retrieved 20 February 2015.
- "Si.com". Retrieved February 20, 2015.
- "Eugene Register-Guard – Google News Archive Search". google.com. Retrieved 20 February 2015.
- "Jerome Kersey, Former Trail Blazers Player". Retrieved February 20, 2015.
- "Oregon live-Remembering Jerome Kersey". Retrieved February 20, 2015.
- "MercyKersey.com". Retrieved February 20, 2015.
- "WTVR". Retrieved February 20, 2015.
- "Former Longwood Great Jerome Kersey Passes Away at 52" (Press release). Longwood University. February 19, 2015. Retrieved February 20, 2015.
- "Columbian". Retrieved February 20, 2015.
- "TMZ". Retrieved February 20, 2015.
- "Former Blazer Jerome Kersey dies at 52". NBA.com. 19 February 2015. Retrieved 20 February 2015.
- "Jerome Kersey, Portland Trail Blazers great, dead at 52". OregonLive.com. Retrieved 20 February 2015.
- "Trail Blazers great Jerome Kersey dies at 52". KGW News. February 18, 2015. Retrieved February 19, 2015.
- "Blazers grieve for Jerome Kersey; death linked to blood clot". Yahoo Sports. 19 February 2015. Retrieved 20 February 2015.
- NBA biography of Kersey (archived from 2000)
- Article in Portland Tribune (Tuesday, August 23, 2005)