Former Trailblazer and Phoenix Suns player Phil Lumpkin passed away over the weekend.
Not sure if any of you remember him, he only played for the Blazers for one season. The Blazers traded Rick Adelman to the Bulls in 1973 for their pick in the draft and the Blazers took Lumpkin in the 2nd round. After one season he was traded to the Suns, where he played a few games for them before being released.
While his playing time in Portland was short, his connection to the Pacific Northwest was strong. He was a HS basketball coach in Seattle at O'Dea HS in which he took his team to state 15 times and won 5 state titles. He was an important figure in the HS basketball scene in Seattle.
The Blazers own Martell Webster faced off against O'Dea and Lumpkin numerous times during his time in at Seattle Prep. In addition, Nate McMillans sons attended O'Dea and played for Coach Lumpkin for four years, winning three state titles.
As an alum of O'Dea and a student of Lumpkins, I am saddened to learn of his passing. He was very much our school's Nate McMillian, a tough but caring coach and teacher.
Just thought you guys might be interested to hear of his passing. Nate, Roy, and Webster were all familiar with him from their times in Seattle.