Oregon lost a sports icon Saturday morning, as longtime Portland Trail Blazers broadcaster Bill Schonely died at 93.
Schonely was the Blazers’ play-by-play broadcaster from the team’s inception in 1970 until 1998.
During his time as broadcaster, the Blazers reached the NBA Finals in 1977, 1990 and 1992, winning the 1977 NBA championship over the Philadelphia 76ers. During his early broadcasts, he coined the popular phrase, “Rip City.”
Schonely was the sixth person ever hired by the Blazers in 1970 as the team was building the organization.
Schonely was born in Norristown, Pennsylvania, in 1929.
“Rip City, forever” the Blazers tweeted Saturday in honor of Schonely.
Statesman Journal reporter Pete Martini covers college and high school sports. He can be reached at pmartini@StatesmanJournal.com.