Jerome Kersey was a highly regarded NBA player, most notably from his time with the Portland Trail Blazers. At only 52 years old, his death was sudden, sending shockwaves throughout the league, including former teammates and friends.
“The best teammate you could have,” former teammate Terry Porter said at the Trail Blazer press conference, according to the web site Koin. Porter and Kersey were teammates from 1985 to 1995 and, according to the former guard, “went through some times” and “grew up” together.
Meanwhile, according to Oregon Live, long time Portland announcer Bill Schonley recollected calling games in which Jerome excelled. “He was doing some great things, and the fans loved to watch him play,” Schonely said.
When asked about the night he coined Kersey’s nickname, Bill recalled that Jerome “made a great play — I think it was a slam dunk — and I said ‘Mercy, Mercy, Jerome Kersey!’ “
He reflected on that moment further, “the timing was so great in that particular game that it stuck,” Schonely said.
“Year after year, we had those great days. And he was such a vital part of that. He was young, and so exuberant. Diving for loose balls. Getting down the middle of the floor. Doing everything he possibly could to get a victory. And when he walked into a room, with that smile… You knew here was a very, very special guy. All those years, day-in-and-day-out…”
As reported by Inquisitr, Jerome Kersey died unexpectedly when a blood clot ruptured in his left calf. Known as pulmonary thromboembolism, deputy state medical examiner Dr. Larry Lewman said that when it broke loose from his left calf, it traveled to his lungs and caused his death.
Many former and current NBA players took to Twitter to express their grief over the loss of Kersey.
“He was the best teammate you could have.” – Terry Porter, fighting back tears #JK25
— Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) February 19, 2015
Sad to hear the new on former Trailblazer great Jerome Kersey. Praying for his family, friends, and fans. Class man!
— Mark Jackson (@MarkJackson13) February 19, 2015
Lost a lot of basketball royalty recently. Stuart Scott, Dean Smith, Tark, Jerome Kersey…all better people…#RIP
— Jamal Crawford (@JCrossover) February 19, 2015
R.I.P. Jerome Kersey & my condolences to his family…. ‘s up!!!
— Vince Carter (@mrvincecarter15) February 19, 2015
RIP Jerome Kersey. Gone too soon. Great basketball player but even better person. Was lucky enough to work with him in community events.
— Meyers Leonard (@MeyersLeonard11) February 19, 2015
[Jerome Kersey Photo Credit: Stephen Dunn / Getty Images]