By Victor O.
Jerome Kersey was a former NBA player. He spent 17 seasons in the league playing for several teams, with the most significant portion of his career spent playing for the Portland Trail Blazers. He had a net worth of $5 million.
He played basketball while attending the then-NCAA Division II Longwood College (now Longwood University), setting school records for points, steals, rebounds and blocked shots. Kersey was picked by the Trail Blazers in the second round of the 1984 draft (46th overall). He spent his first couple of years as a backup, contributing regularly from the bench. Kersey had become a key starter by the time he was in his third season in the league. He went as far as coming second behind the legendary Michael Jordan in a league slam-dunk competition.
Kersey became an integral part of a formidable Portland team comprising the likes of Clyde Drexler, Kevin Duckworth, Terry Porter and Buck Williams. That group of players made the NBA Finals in 1990 and again in 1992. After becoming a periphery figure in Portland, Kersey went on to play for the Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers, Seattle SuperSonics, San Antonio Spurs and Milwaukee Bucks. He was part of the Spurs’ championship-winning team in 1999. His best season, in terms of output, was the 1987-88 season when he averaged 19.2 points and 8.3 rebounds.
He ended his career as an NBA player in 2001. Kersey later worked as an assistant to his ex-Trail Blazers teammate Porter, who was then the head coach of the Bucks. Before then, he had worked with Portland as the director of player programs. Kersey was inducted into the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame in 2008.
The ex-NBA player married long-time girlfriend Teri Folsom Donnerberg in 2013, with the couple having four children from their previous relationships. Kersey has one daughter, while Donnerberg has three children (two daughters and a son).
Kersey passed away on Feb. 18, 2015 at the age of 52. The local fire department was called to his Lake Oswego, Oregon home and he was transported to a hospital in Tualatin where he died a little while after arrival as a result of pulmonary embolism. A blood clot had navigated from his left calf up to his lung and plugged a vessel there, according to a medical report.