Jerome Kersey Rumors
Kersey spent 9 of his 17 NBA seasons in Portland, and continued to work with the Trail Blazers organization after retirement. He died in February 2015 of a pulmonary embolism. He was 52 years old. Donate Life NW said his organs were donated after his passing, which saved the lives of eight children in a burn unit and enhanced the lives of hundreds of others. Kersey’s daughter Kiara tells KATU News Tuesday night’s game is quite special for her.
The fact that he was an organ donor was a surprise to Kiara, who said, when she found out, “It kind of brought him back to life for a little bit and it gave me that warm fuzzy feeling inside. Like he’s still out there doing stuff for the community even communities miles and miles away in Texas. And his love of helping people has stretched that far.”
Jerome Kersey, a former Portland Trail Blazer who gave so much to the franchise, fans and community, continued giving after his death in 2015. He was an eye and tissue donor. Kersey gave the gift of life to eight children at a burn center in Texas whose lives were saved by his tissue donation, and his cornea donation enhanced the lives of four people who received a groundbreaking eye surgery, according to Donate Life Northwest.
Donate Life Northwest will honor and celebrate Kersey’s gifts Tuesday night when the Trail Blazers host the Milwaukee Bucks. The organization will also help raise awareness of the need for organ, eye and tissue donations at “Donate Life Northwest Family Blazer Night.”
“We’ve lost a lot of guys over the last couple of years,” King said, “Moses, Darryl Dawkins, Jerome Kersey and before that Pat Cummings, just to name a few. And a lot of these guys have died of heart attacks. So I think it’s great that the league, the players association and the retired players association are joining forces to try and figure out why that is and what we can do to adequately provide for everyone.”
The celebration of the life of Jerome Kersey held this afternoon at Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum was exactly that – a celebration. There were a number of tears and gut-wrenching moments, but there was also a lot of laughter and a general upbeat to the proceedings. It was fitting for a man who has positively impacted so many. The event was hosted by Bill Schonely, and featured speeches from Blazers President and CEO Chris McGowan, Team Chaplain Al Egg, Blazers Founder Harry Glickman, Teammate Terry Porter, Former Blazers Community Relations Executive Traci Rose, his best friend Ron Sloy, his daughter Kiara Kersey, and his wife Teri Kersey. The current Blazers team and staff was in attendance, along with family, friends, and fans enough to fill the floor of the Coliseum, as well as much of the lower level of the surrounding stands.
A little later, Traci Rose, who worked in community relations for the team, answered her desk phone at work. Kersey was on the other end and needed a favor. Could she gather an autographed basketball, a Blazers shirt and hat — whatever memorabilia she could find in the office — and bring it downstairs? He was in the parking lot. So Rose hurriedly put together a package of goods and strolled downstairs. When she made it to the parking lot, she was dumbfounded. Before her wasn’t just Kersey, but also Clyde Drexler. And Terry Porter. And Buck Williams and Kevin Duckworth. Before her stood the entire Blazers starting lineup. “Jerome had immediately called his brothers, gathered them together,” Rose said, recalling the moment. “And they went on to the hospital and spent the afternoon with this child. That was Jerome doing what Jerome does.”