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Dr. Jack’s Legacy Lives on in Africa Outreach

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Chris Ramsay, son of Trail Blazers legend Dr. Jack Ramsay, reflected on his father’s role in building basketball infrastructure in Africa.

Portland Trail Blazers v Boston Celtics Photo by Dick Raphael/NBAE via Getty Images

Trail Blazers legend Dr. Jack Ramsay’s influence on basketball is still felt today. Following his retirement from the NBA ranks, Ramsay undertook a foundational role in the formation of Africa Outreach USA (AOUSA). The former Blazers’ coach specifically focused on building a network of resources focused on court building and coaching at a grassroots level. The organization that Dr. Jack helped form was recently highlighted in a story from ESPN.

Chris Ramsay, Dr. Jack’s son, reflected on his father’s coaching emphasis during an event centered around a court unveiling in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.

“My dad, Dr. Jack Ramsay, always stressed fundamentals, even with the best players in the world,” said Chris Ramsay, a recently retired ESPN NBA editor. “We follow his template with our campers today ... over-emphasizing proper fundamentals in each of the drills.”

ESPN’s post also detailed AOUSA’s ambitious approach to expanding the game of basketball at the local level throughout Africa.

There are more than 100 projects in the works in Zimbabwe, Zambia, South Africa, Burkina Faso and Malawi. And in mid-January, AOUSA launched its very first court-building project at a school in Uga, Nigeria. AOUSA volunteers, including Dr. Jack’s son, Chris Ramsay, and other program sponsors travel to Victoria Falls and many other locations around the continent to teach basketball fundamentals to coaches and players.

Ramsay, who passed in 2014, coached the Blazers for 10 seasons. Under his guidance, Portland’s youthful squad dispatched the 76ers in the 1977 NBA Finals.

You can read the full post on AOUSA at ESPN.