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LaMarcus Aldridge Receives Inaugural Maurice Lucas Award

04/22/11
  1. Written by: caseyholdahl  / avg. rating: 5.0

    Award given to Trail Blazers player who best represents true spirit of Lucas

    PORTLAND, Ore. - LaMarcus Aldridge has been selected as the inaugural recipient of the Maurice Lucas Award, given annually to the Trail Blazers player who best represents the true spirit of Maurice Lucas through his contributions on the court and in the community, as well as in support of his teammates and the organization, the team announced today. In honor of this award, the Trail Blazers will make a $5,000 donation on behalf of Aldridge to the Z Man Foundation.

    "LaMarcus has embodied everything it takes to be a Trail Blazer this season," said Trail Blazers President Larry Miller . "I feel Luke would have been proud of the progress LaMarcus has made, and would have wanted him to receive this award."

    In his fifth NBA season, Aldridge posted career highs in points (21.8), rebounds (8.8), assists (2.1), free throw percentage (79.1%) and minutes played (39.6) during the regular season.

    Aldridge became the third Trail Blazer in team history to be named the NBA's Western Conference Player of the Month in February after averaging 27.8 points, 9.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists and guiding Portland to an 8-4 month. He was also named Western Conference Player of the Week twice, for weeks ending January 23 and February 13.

    A panel of former NBA players selected Aldridge as the Northwest Division winner and NBA finalist for the 2010-11 NBA Sportsmanship Award. The award is given annually to the player who best represents the ideals of sportsmanship on the court.

    Aldridge pledged to donate $1,000 for every point scored against the Oklahoma City Thunder on March 27 to help tsunami victims in Japan. He scored 20 points in that game and donated $20,000 to Direct Relief International's Japan Relief and Recovery Fund.

    The Trail Blazers dedicated the 2010-11 season to former Trail Blazers all-star Maurice Lucas after he passed away on October 31 at the age of 58. A beloved member of the franchise and the community, "The Enforcer" was a central figure on the Trail Blazers 1976-77 NBA Championship team. The Trail Blazers honored Lucas by retiring his uniform number (No. 20) on Nov. 4, 1988.

    He averaged 15.6 points, 8.7 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 0.72 blocked shots over five seasons (1976-80, 87-88) in Portland. During Portland's 1976-77 NBA Championship season, Lucas led the team in scoring (20.2), field goals made (8.0), free throws made (4.2), offensive rebounds (2.4) and minutes (36.2).

    Selected to the All-Star Game in three straight seasons from 1977-79, Lucas is one of four three-time All-Stars in Trail Blazers history (Clyde Drexler, Brandon Roy, Sidney Wicks).

    Lucas most recently served as an assistant coach with the Trail Blazers for five seasons from 2005-10, and previously in 1988-89.

    Throughout the year, Trail Blazers coaches and staff have been wearing '20' pins on their jackets and the players have worn '20' patches on their jerseys.

    About the Z-Man Foundation
    The Z-Man Foundation was founded to assist Portland's youth by opening the doors for college preparation through mentoring and scholarship. It was launched in memory of Officer Mark "Z-Man" Zylawy and the 17 years of service he gave to the City of Portland. Z-Man left a legacy of giving back to the community and providing service to those who need it most.

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