Portland on a roll as Lucas earns Player of the Week Award
Veteran International Basketball League forward David Lucas of the Portland Chinooks has been selected as the league’s Player of the Week for the ninth week of the 2012 regular season following a big offensive outburst last weekend.
Lucas scored 55 points in a 158-110 victory over the Nippon Tornadoes on Sunday to lift the Chinooks to a 10-4 record on the season, good for first place in the IBL’s Continental Conference standings. Lucas has helped the Chinooks win five games in a row and nine of its last ten, and is currently averaging nearly 27 points per game on the season.
The 6-foot-9 Lucas, son of the late Maurice Lucas of Portland Trailblazers fame, has been a fixture in the IBL since 2007. His longevity in the league has placed him fourth on the league’s all-time scoring list with 1,966 points, and second among active players behind Bellingham Slam guard Jacob Stevenson. That’s not bad for a player who walked on to Oregon State’s basketball team in 2001 before eventually becoming a two-time Pac-10 all-conference player as a junior and senior for the Beavers.
Following college, Lucas has played much of his professional career with the Chinooks. Team owner Terry Emmert is close with Lucas and the family, “His father and I were close, we took vacations together and I have known David since he was a little guy,” Emmert shared.
“Now he is a big guy performing well for us because he has a tremendous feel for the basket, ability to get that shot in and can shoot from outside, inside as an all around offensive player; he could work on his defence and take more charges,” Emmert chuckles.
“Great genes help from his father, who had a great pride in David which I share. It was hard losing a very close friend in Maruice and David losing his father, he is a fantastic son and he is making his father and I very proud. He is not only a talented player, but a great young man. As a veteran he supports the team, is a conscious player with a calm authority who’s presence is felt which brings a great strength to our team. We share the same attitude, we don’t like to lose, at all,” said Emmert.
Lucas remains grateful to his father as being the reason for his success, stating, “If it wasn't for my father not pushing me, and making me love basketball on my own, I don't know where I'd be today."
“I always try to make my dad proud. I knew growing up I would never be like my dad but I wanted to be the closest thing to it,” said Lucas.
Off the court, Lucas is the founder and executive director of the Maurice Lucas Foundation, an organization which aims to empower Portland’s youth with opportunities for positive developmental growth through sport. The Foundation will be hosting its second annual Maurice Lucas Foundation Dinner and Auction at the Nike Center on Saturday, September 8.
Following his collegiate career, Lucas played professionally in Europe in Portugal and Poland before returning to the Portland area.
At age 30, Lucas no longer has aspirations of heading overseas, simply playing for the love of the game and to help his younger teammates.
“I just do it for the love of the game, because I enjoy it. My role is to score when I’m in the game and be a leader and make it fun for the guys,” Lucas concluded.
The selection is the first for a player from the Chinooks this season. The team is currently ranked one game ahead of second-place Vancouver with four games remaining in the regular season. The two teams will face each other Wednesday night in what should be a hotly-contested match-up at 7 p.m. at the Chinooks’ home court at the 212 Sports Complex in Clackamas.
For more information on Lucas and the Portland Chinooks, visit www.ibl.com/portland_chinooks.
Bellingham set to host 2012 IBL Playoffs July 5-8
The International Basketball League has announced that the Bellingham Slam will serve as the host team for the league’s 2012 Championship Tournament, to be held July 5, 6 and 8 at Whatcom Pavilion in Bellingham.
First round games will take place on Thursday, July 5, the semi-finals on Friday, July 6 and the championship game on Sunday, July 8 at 5 p.m.
“The IBL appreciates Bellingham being our host for the 2012 playoffs,” commented Commissioner Graf. “The Slam is a team with longevity, history and great fans. It is a hard house for our visiting teams to play in, yet a warm environment where you hear encouragement for any great basketball play. The staff puts on a great game day experience and I’m certain they will go the extra mile to ensure an unforgettable weekend.”
The Slam has not hosted an IBL playoff game since 2008, when the league championship game that season was played in Bellingham. The Slam defeated the Elkhart Express, 118-111, in front of a sold-out Whatcom Pavilion crowd for their first, and only, title. Since then, the Slam has made one other championship game appearance – in 2010, when the team traveled to New York to face the Albany Legends. Bellingham lost that game, 126-111.
Last season, Bellingham finished with the IBL’s number one seed and earned a first-round bye, but matched up in the semi-finals against the host Volcanoes on their home court in Vancouver. The Slam were upset by the Volcanoes, 105-96, who went on to capture the 2011 IBL Championship by defeating the Edmonton Energy in the final.
“We are very excited to have to opportunity to bring the Championship Tournament to Bellingham,” commented Slam general manager Bob Hofstetter. “Fans who were with us in 2008 remember how exciting the championship game against Elkhart was. The organization is looking forward to once again showcasing the best the IBL has to offer.”
Tickets for the 2012 IBL Championship Tournament are currently on sale. Tournament passes, which will allow access to every game, cost $20 for adults, $16 for students and seniors, and $10 for children 12 and under. Limited quantities of reserved courtside tickets are also available.
To purchase tickets or get more information, call the Slam at (360) 734-SLAM or visit their website at www.bellinghamslam.com.
IBL Weekend in Review
Thursday, June 14: Nippon Tornadoes 109 at Olympia Reign 132
Despite an outstanding performance from center Joe Wolfinger, the Nippon Tornadoes fell to the Olympia Reign on Thursday, 132-109. Wolfinger, who played at the University of Washington, scored 41 points and added 35 rebounds for one of the best performances of the IBL season. For the Reign, Marcus Whittaker, Mike Ward, and Nate Menefee all scored over 20 points while Brandon Adams added a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds off the bench. The Reign made 18 three pointers out of their 49 attempts and held the Tornadoes to only 34 percent shooting for the game.
Friday, June 15: Vancouver Volcanoes 119 at Salem Soldiers 149
The Salem Soldiers exploded for 70 points in the fourth quarter of their game Friday night to beat the 2011 IBL Champion Volcanoes 149-119 for the second time this season. The Soldiers actually headed into the fourth down 3 points, but were lights out in the final period outscoring Vancouver 70-37. Eight players scored in double figures for Salem including Dane Johnson who had 15 points and 18 assists. Vancouver was led by Andre Murray’s 24 points but as a team they were outscored from the three-point line 75-24, making a huge difference in the game. Vancouver fell to 8-5 with the loss but will get a chance at a rematch on July 1 in their final regular season game, which will also feature the team’s annual Fan Fest BBQ at Clark College.
Friday, June 15: Nippon Tornadoes 132 at Yamhill Highflyers 127
The visiting Nippon Torndoes got their first win of the season, taking out Yamhill 132-127. Joe Wolfinger had another outstanding performance – perhaps outdoing his game on Thursday – with 53 points and 30 rebounds to help the traveling team from Japan get the win; Jordan Mast added 30 points himself. Jason Hartford of Yamhill scored 36 points but struggled from behind the arc (1-11) as did the rest of the Highflyers who finished at 23 percent for the game. Yamhill is now 0-3 and will look for their first win of the season on June 22 against Bellingham at Linfield College.
Saturday, June 16: Oregon Waves 152 at Salem Soldiers 191
The Soldiers continued their hot streak by beating the visiting Oregon Waves 191-152. Salem got their points from a variety of places with four players scoring over 25 including 2-time IBL Player of the Week Chehales Tapscott (33) and Phil Nelson (35). Dane Johnson had another strong game facilitating adding 21 assists to his 15 points. Jourdan Sweeney of the Waves scored 48 points (22-34 FGs) but the Wave defense was could not contain the Soldiers. Salem has now won three games in a row – including last week against league-leading Bellingham – and has moved to 6-8 on the season as they look to make a strong push toward the playoffs.
Sunday, June 17: Nippon Tornadoes 110 at Portland Chinooks 158
David Lucas poured in a game-high 55 points to help the Portland Chinooks take out the Nippon Tornadoes 158-110 on Sunday. Lucas shot 26-for-37 including five three-pointers. The Chinooks also got a big performance from Everett Spencer who had 34 points and 14 rebounds. Joe Wolfinger finished off his strong week with 41 points but the Tornadoes were playing for the third time in four days and just couldn’t handle Lucas, the former star at Oregon State University and reigning IBL Player of the Week.
Stay up to date with upcoming IBL games and the results of previous contests this season on our schedule page.