According to Fox 12 Oregon, former Blazer Kevin Duckworth died Monday in Kernville.
I encourage everyone to share their memories of the great Duck below in the comments section, or in a fan post of your own. In his own words, "join in and sing some bass".
For my own part, I will never forget his shy and gentle nature. He seemed one of a few basketball players in the world I'd feel comfortable talking to. He told Kerry Eggers in Blazers Profiles that if he hadn't been a basketball player, he'd have been a carpenter, and in the offseason I'd hear reports of him fly-fishing Oregon's rivers.
As a boy "Kevin Duckworth" was my school recess nickname on the basketball court, and I tried to emulate his one-handed shot with no success. I even picked up a pair of knee braces for my first Parks and Recreation league in tribute to Duck. And when my babysitter purchased a Duckworth-brand drift boat, I was so excited because I knew it was the same brand that Duck himself used on the Metolius and the Deschutes.
Of course when I was young I worshipped Clyde Drexler. But as I grew older, I took greater interest in his less celebrated, more humble teammates -- particularly Duck and Jerome Kersey -- for their splendid talents and generosity in the community, and for their personal stories, as much as for their titanic battles on the basketball court. It has been incredibly moving for me to read everyone's kind words in this post and on others, particularly those from people who actually met the great man. These words keep Duckworth's spirit alive in my heart.
My deepest condolences go out to his family and friends.
Kevin Duckworth -- rest in peace.
I found this clip on YouTube from the "Make It Happen" video. It features some of my favorite Duckworth plays -- particularly the back-down on Divac -- all from the playoff series against Los Angeles in 1992, including the UNLV game during the L.A. Riots. Duckworth was fantastic in this series. I hope you enjoy it. (It also features one of the greatest-ever alley-oops from Kersey to Drexler. Magic Johnson: "Highlight film time!")