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Former Trail Blazers Star Arydas Sabonis To Be Enshrined In Hall Of Fame

04/06/11
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    Seven-year Trail Blazer helped team to two Western Conference Finals

    PORTLAND, Ore – Former Trail Blazer star Arvydas Sabonis has been elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, it was announced yesterday in Houston, Texas, site of the NCAA Final Four.

    In seven seasons with the Trail Blazers (1995-2001, 2002-03), Sabonis averaged 12.0 points (50.0% FG, 78.6% FT), 7.3 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.05 blocks in 470 games. When he retired at the end of the 2002-03 season, Sabonis ranked seventh all-time among Trail Blazers rebounders (3,436), fifth in defensive rebounds (2,702) and seventh in blocked shots (494). He was also a key member of Trail Blazers teams that reached the Western Conference Finals in 1999 and 2000.

    Portland selected Sabonis with the 24th overall pick in the 1986 NBA Draft, the last selection of the first round. One of Europe's top players, Sabonis eventually signed with the Trail Blazers in 1995. He became the oldest player to ever receive NBA All-Rookie First Team honors in 1995-96, when he also finished runner-up for both the NBA Rookie of the Year and NBA Sixth Man of the Year awards.

    Known as one of the best big men in European history, Sabonis was selected for the Hall of Fame by the International Committee. He was recognized as the Euroleague's Most Valuable Player and twice named European Player of the Year. Sabonis helped the Soviet Union to the Olympic Gold medal in 1988 and twice guided Lithuania to Olympic Bronze medal finishes (1992, 1996).

    Sabonis will be accompanied in the 2011 Hall of Fame class by former NBA star and 1992 Dream Team member Chris Mullin; five-time NBA champion Dennis Rodman; ABA/NBA legend Artis Gilmore; four-time NCAA women's coach of the year Tara VanDerveer; four-time Olympic gold medalist Teresa Edwards; all-time NCAA wins leader Herb Magee; eight-time NBA champion Tom "Satch" Sanders; coaching legend Tex Winter; and former Harlem Globetrotter Reece "Goose" Tatum, who will be honored posthumously.

    The Class of 2011 will be honored August 11-13 during this year's Enshrinement Ceremonies, presented by NIKE, at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass.

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