Maurice Lucas Foundation gives back
David Lucus, son of the late Trail Blazer legend Maurice Lucas, presents an Enforcer Award during an annual celebration in his father’s name to raise donations to support free academic and athletic programs for Portland area youth. PHOTO COURTESY MAURICE LUCAS FOUNDATION
The Maurice Lucas Foundation’s 11th annual gala held virtually Dec. 9 raised nearly $700,000 to support free academic and athletic programs for Portland youths. The total was almost $100,000 above last year’s event, officials reported. KOIN-TV news anchor Ken Boddie and auctioneer Johnna Lee Wells again co-hosted the celebration. Foundation Executive Director and founder David Lucas, son of the late Portland Trail Blazer legend Maurice Lucas, served as the gala’s master of ceremonies. Phoenix Suns coach Monty Williams was presented the foundation’s annual Maurice Lucas Enforcer Award. The honor is given to an individual who best embodies many of the characteristics that its namesake displayed both on and off the basketball court, including motivating and empowering kids. In his acceptance speech, Williams recalled the time he got to know Maurice Lucas when both served as assistant coaches for the Portland Trail Blazers. “I’m grateful for the lessons I learned from him,” Williams said. “He had a huge impact on me. Thank you all for allowing me the honor of having this award.” Williams also thanked Portland, “that allowed me to be a part of the community and the culture that Luke helped build.” Bill Walton, Lionel Hollins and Bobby Gross (all members of the Blazers’ 1977 championship team) are among the award’s past recipients, along with Bill Russell, Bill Schonely and Nate McMillan. Maurice Lucas was the leading scorer on the 1977 NBA champion Portland Trail Blazers and a five-time NBA All-Star. He had a storied 14-year career in professional basketball, but off the court is where Maurice built his legacy of community service. Maurice passed away Oct. 31, 2010, at age 58. The foundation carries on his legacy by working with youth to help them realize their individual potential through education and sport. More information about the foundation and Maurice Lucas is online at www.ML20.org.