Ex-Portland TrailBlazer dies, losing battle with cancer

dale-schlueterOne of the members of the original Portland TrailBlazers team, Dale Schlueter died on July 24, after losing battle with cancer. He was 68.

The TrailBlazers said Schlueter died at his Portland home, surrounded by friends and family.

Blazers founder Harry Glickman remembered Schlueter as giving his ultimate effort every time he played.

“He was one of our original players, which affords Dale a special place in Trail Blazers history,” said Glickman. “For the vast majority of professional athletes, one of the best rewards is personally knowing when you’ve done your very best.  Dale gave his ultimate effort every time he played.  He was a great Trail Blazer.”

“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.

The NBRPA (National Retired Players Association) has also extended its condolences to Schlueter’s family.

During NBA expansion in 1970, the Buffalo Braves, Cleveland Cavaliers and Portland Trail Blazers were created. When these teams drafted players, the newly minted TrailBlazers selected Schlueter, a center, from the San Francisco Warriors.

Schlueter played center during his NBA days, for San Francisco Warriors, Portland Trailblazers, Philadelphia 76ers, Buffalo Braves, Atlanta Hawks and Phoenix Suns.

He averaged career high 11.7 ppg and 10.6 rpg as one of the original Portland Trailblazers in 1971-72, leading the team in rebounds. During his career, Schlueter played in 586 NBA games, averaging 5.3 ppg, 5.2 rpg in 16.4 mpg.

After retiring in 1978, Schlueter remained involved with the Blazers and served as a team ambassador at games and community events.


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