Trail Blazers Press Release

ORIGINAL TRAIL BLAZER LEROY ELLIS PASSES AWAY

06/02/12
  1. Written by: trailblazers

    Former Portland Trail Blazers center/forward LeRoy Ellis passed away today in Portland at the age of 72 after a long battle with cancer.

    "LeRoy Ellis was a very important member of the first Trail Blazers team and was a very high-class individual," said Trail Blazers Founder and President Emeritus Harry Glickman. "We extend our deepest sympathy to his family."

    A member of Portland's inaugural basketball team, Ellis was selected by the Trail Blazers in the 1970 NBA Expansion Draft. Ellis led Portland with 12.3 rebounds per game and ranked third on the team with a 15.9 scoring average in 1970-71, his only season with the Trail Blazers.

    Ellis is one of four Trail Blazers to record three 20-point, 20-rebound games in the same season (M. Lucas, B. Walton, S. Wicks). His 26 rebounds vs. Buffalo on Oct. 27, 1970, in the seventh game in team history, are still tied for the most by a Trail Blazer in a regulation game.

    Ellis appeared in 1,048 NBA games over 14 seasons with the L.A. Lakers, Baltimore, Portland and Philadelphia. He posted career averages of 9.7 points and 8.3 rebounds, and was a member of the 1972 NBA Champion L.A. Lakers.

    A New York native, Ellis played his collegiate basketball at St. John's University. He was selected by the Lakers with the sixth overall pick in the 1962 NBA Draft.

    Ellis and his family settled in Portland during his NBA career and continued to live in the area after he retired from the NBA.

    About the Portland Trail Blazers: Members of the National Basketball Association (NBA), the Portland Trail Blazers were founded in 1970 and purchased by Paul G. Allen in 1988. The team's rich heritage includes 29 playoff appearances, three trips to the NBA Finals, an NBA championship in 1977 and a commitment to community service and sustainability. With a corporate mission to make it better in the community, the Trail Blazers strive to help children and their families throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington live, learn and play. The Trail Blazers are the first and only professional sports franchise to receive the prestigious National Points of Light Award for excellence in corporate and community service. The Trail Blazers home arena, the Rose Garden, became the first existing professional sports venue in the world to receive LEED Gold Certification. The team is also one of the founding members of the Green Sports Alliance. For more information, visit www.trailblazers.com.

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