Street may be renamed in honor of Dr. Jack Ramsay

Dr. Jack Ramsay, who coached the Portland Trail Blazers for a decade, reportedly died overnight April 28, 2014. (AP Photo)
Dr. Jack Ramsay, who coached the Portland Trail Blazers for a decade, reportedly died overnight April 28, 2014. (AP Photo)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN 6) — As a permanent salute to the memory of legendary Portland Trail Blazers Coach Dr. Jack Ramsay, the Trail Blazers and City of Portland Commissioner Steve Novick announced they are partnering in a resolution to rename a street in the Rose Quarter in Ramsay’s honor.

The Blazers and Novick said they want to rename North Winning Way, a feeder street just north of the Moda Center and Veterans Memorial Coliseum, “Ramsay Way” in honor of Ramsay, who passed away earlier this week at age 89.

According to a press release, Novick plans to introduce the resolution at the next Portland City Council meeting on next Wednesday.

“Portland Mayor Charlie Hales and I believe this is a perfect way to salute Jack Ramsay,” Novick said in a written statement. “I have owed Dr. Jack a huge debt of gratitude since June 5, 1977, when, as a kid in Cottage Grove, I watched Oregon’s team claim the NBA title. It is an honor to have a chance to pay him a proper tribute.”

A press release indicated the following activities are also planned to honor Ramsay:

  • Donation of proceeds from Friday’s ticket sales for the 50/50 Rip City Raffle presented by the Safeway Foundation, matched by the Trail Blazers make it better Foundation, to a deserving local charity chosen by the Ramsay Family; and
  • A lasting tribute to Ramsay through the establishment of the Spirit of Rip City Award to be given annually to a coach, educator, administrator or community activist whose focus, determination and never-give-up spirit, coaching hallmarks of Ramsay, makes a meaningful contribution to the greater Portland community.

Ramsay coached the Trail Blazers from 1976-1986, highlighted by defeating the Philadelphia 76ers for the 1977 NBA Title. Overall, Ramsay accumulated a record of 864 wins and 783 losses in 21 years of coaching with four NBA franchises — Philadelphia (1968-72), Buffalo (1972-76), Portland and Indiana (1986-89). His record in 10 seasons at the helm for the Trail Blazers was 453-367 (.552).

In 1992, Ramsay was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Ramsay stepped into the broadcast booth in 1990 as a television analyst for the Miami Heat, but his most extensive and best-known span as a broadcaster came as an NBA analyst for ESPN Radio from 1996-2013.

A funeral mass was held earlier Thursday for Ramsay in Naples, Florida, attended by former Trail Blazers players, NBA greats, sports dignitaries and media executives, including legendary Trail Blazers broadcaster Bill Schonely.

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