Detroit basketball lost a legend on Friday when Terry Duerod’s family announced his passing. The 64-year-old died after a battle with leukemia, and the loss was felt by many in the Detroit basketball community.
Dick Vitale, Duerod’s former coach at the University of Detroit and with the Pistons, lamented the loss of his player, who played for him for four seasons. He also highlighted many of Duerod’s accomplishments throughout his life.
“Terry had to be a special player in college,” Vitale said in a Twitter post. “He did a great, great job. Terry also served this community. When he finished playing with the Celtics and got a championship ring in 1981 he was on a team with Larry Bird and company, and obviously that was special for him the two years he spent. in Boston.
Under Vitale’s tutelage, Duerod amassed 1,690 points to rank sixth in school history. He averaged 23.3 points per game during his senior season and helped the Titans reach the NCAA tournament in 1977.
Duerod was selected in the third round of the 1977 NBA Draft by the hometown of the Pistons. During his rookie season, he averaged 9.3 points per game and shot 47% from the field. He ended up playing four seasons in the NBA.
When the NBA grew in 1980, he was selected by the Dallas Mavericks and played 28 games with them. He signed with the Boston Celtics in 1980 and won a championship with them in 1981. He also impresses his teammates, with Larry Bird crediting him for his setback.
The Highland Park native also played for the Golden State Warriors during the 1982-1983 season before returning to Detroit to play for the Detroit Spirits. During his NBA career, he averaged 6.7 points per game. The Mercy Titans at the University of Detroit inducted him into the Hall of Fame in 1993.
Close friends like former Piston Earl Cureton have also felt the pain of the loss and, like Vitale, have shared some of their thoughts on Twitter.
After retiring from professional basketball, Duerod pursued a career as a firefighter in Detroit. He served the city for 27 years before retiring in 2016.
With the announcement of his passing, many members of the basketball community paid tribute to Duerod.