Former Blazers C Duckworth dies

GLENDEN BEACH, OREGON (TICKER) —Kevin Duckworth, a two-time All-Star who played on two Western Conference-winning teams with Porland Trail Blazers, has died. He was 44.

Duckworth died Monday evening in Glenden Beach. The cause of death has not been released.

Duckworth played with the Trail Blazers from 1986-1993 and was a key member of Portland teams which reached the NBA Finals in 1990 and 1992. The gentle 7-footer was affectionately known to Blazers fans as simply “Duck.”

“Today is an extremely sad day for the Trail Blazers team,” Blazers president Larry Miller said. “Kevin will be remembered by fans as one of the most popular and recognizable players to ever were the Blazers uniform, but to people who knew him, he’ll be remembered as one of the warmest biggest-hearted.”

Duckworth, who was named the league’s Most Improved Player in 1988, averaged 11.8 points and 5.8 points during his 11-year career.

Following his player career which ended following the 1997 season, Duckworth remained in the Portland area, where he was an avid fisherman, outdoorsman and skilled carpenter.

“This is a devastating loss,” said Traci Rose, the Blazers vice president of community relations. “To this day, Duck is adored throughout this state and remains a brother to his teammates and to Trail Blazers staff. We will forever miss our beloved 00.”

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Updated Tuesday, Aug 26, 2008