Summarized by Nicholas Maddox
Ainge welcomed back
Spokane WA Spokesman-Review 22Aug99 L3
Ainge welcomed back
PORTLAND, OREGON -- Danny Ainge has been honored by his home state of
Oregon by being inducted into the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame during
the Halls 20th annual induction ceremony. Ainge played his high
school days at North Eugene High as a three-sport star in basketball,
baseball and football. He led the Highlanders to back-to-back Class
3A basketball championships in 1976 and 1977 and was state player of
the year both years.
For college Danny Ainge selected Brigham Young University in Provo,
Utah. His local fans were not happy that he didn't choose an Oregon
school. At BYU Ainge became a star for the Cougars and earned
All-American honors in 1981. He was also honored with the Wooden
Award as college basketball's best player. Ainge's hometown fans
might not have been happy with him going to the Y but he says "I
certainly have no regrets, and feel like it was the best situation
for me. I found my future wife there."
Ainge was drafted by the Boston Celtics and was on the Championship
teams of 1984 and 1986 along with Larry Bird, Kevin McHale and Robert
Parish. He played for over seven seasons with the Celtics before
being traded to Sacramento in 1989 and then on to his home state at
Portland in 1990 where in 1992 they lost to the Chicago Bulls in the
finals. Ainge finished his playing career in 1995 at Phoenix after 14
professional basketball seasons. He has coached the Suns since 1996.
In reference to his returns to Oregon he says, "It's always been my
favorite place. I guess I'm one of those few people who love the
rain. I do feel welcome when I'm in Portland, probably because we
keep losing there." Last season the Suns were swept out of the
playoffs by the Trailblazers.
As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Danny
Ainge did not serve a mission but has counselled and offered advice
to many young athletes when they were faced with choices between
continuing athletics or breaking to serve.