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Darrall Imhoff Passes Away at 78

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Imhoff played for the Trail Blazers during the 1971-72 season and did color commentary alongside Bill Schonely after retiring.

Darrall Imhoff Getty Images

Former Portland Trail Blazer Darrall Imhoff died of a heart attack at the age of 78 on Friday night, the team announced. Imhoff played 12 seasons in the NBA, retiring with the Trail Blazers in their second season as an NBA franchise in 1972. He remained in Oregon after retirement, living in Hillsboro and then Eugene, and finally Bend. The Trail Blazers released this statement following his passing:

PORTLAND, Ore. (July 1, 2017) – Former Portland Trail Blazers player Darrall Imhoff passed away last night in Bend, at age 78, of a heart attack. A 12-year veteran of the NBA, Imhoff joined the Trail Blazers as a free agent and played the 1971-72 season in Portland before retiring from the league.

After his playing days, Imhoff did color commentary on radio alongside Trail Blazers broadcaster Bill Schonely for home games during Portland’s run to the 1977 NBA Championship. In recent years, Imhoff was active with the Trail Blazers Alumni in various community service initiatives.

For his career, Imhoff played for the New York Knicks, Detroit Pistons, Los Angeles Lakers, Philadelphia 76ers, Cincinnati Royals (now Sacramento Kings) and the Trail Blazers. A rugged 6-10 center nicknamed “The Ax” for his physical play, Imhoff averaged 7.2 points and 7.6 rebounds in a career that spanned 801 total games. While with the Lakers, Imhoff played in the 1967 NBA All-Star game.

Imhoff played collegiately at the University of California under famed coach and basketball innovator Pete Newell, and won the NCAA Championship in 1959. In 1960, Imhoff played for the United States men’s Olympic team which won the gold medal in Rome alongside future Hall of Famers Jerry West and Oscar Robertson. In 2010, that entire 1960 Olympic team was inducted as a unit into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Our condolences are with his family and friends, as well as the Trail Blazers community that lost a respected and valued member.