PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN 6) — Dale Schlueter, one of the original Trail Blazers and a longtime ambassador for the team, died Thursday, the Blazers announced.
The 68-year-old died at home after a long battle with cancer.
Drafted in 1967 by the then-San Francisco Warriors, Schlueter was acquired by the Blazers for their first season in 1970. He played for the Blazers through 1972, then returned for a final season in 1977.
He retired in 1978 but stayed active with the Blazers. The team said he often represented the Blazers at charitable events around the city and made fan vistis around the Moda Center on game nights.
Team officials expressed their condolences in statements.
“We have lost a true Trail Blazers original, and someone whose dedication to our organization and the Portland community knew no limits,” said Chris McGowan, President & CEO of the Trail Blazers and Moda Center.
“He was one of our original players, which affords Dale a special place in Trail Blazers history,” said Trail Blazers Founder Harry Glickman. “Dale gave his ultimate effort every time he played. He was a great Trail Blazer.”
Legendary Trail Blazers broadcaster Bill Schonely said, “You could always count on Dale and his wife Jeni to support the outreach efforts that have made the Trail Blazers so beloved in our community. I counted him as a dear friend, and will miss him immensely.”
Funeral arrangements are pending.