Former Detroit star, Celtics player Terry Duerod dies after leukemia battle

Ryan Young
·2 min read

Former Detroit college star Terry Duerod, who won an NBA title with the Boston Celtics, died on Friday, the school announced.

He was 64.

Duerod had been battling leukemia for seven months, and was moved into hospice care last week, according to The Detroit News.

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Duerod played for legendary coach Dick Vitale at Detroit from 1975-79, where he averaged 15.2 points and 2.5 rebounds per game. He racked up nearly 1,700 career points there, and helped lead the Titans to their first NCAA tournament win in 1977, Vitale’s final year coaching there.

Duerod was selected by the Pistons in the third round of the 1979 draft. He then spent the beginning of the 1980-81 season with the Dallas Mavericks before getting traded to the Boston Celtics, where he helped lead them to a title.

Duerod spent one final year with the Celtics and then one with the Golden State Warriors before retiring in 1983. He then returned to the Detroit area and worked as a firefighter for 27 years before retiring in 2016.

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“So sad to learn about the passing of Terry Duerod,” Vitale said, via the Associated Press. “He is one of the really special players at the university. I am absolutely crushed. I found out with a phone call from his wife this morning that he had passed from cancer.

“He was unique. He was Mr. Excitement. When the ball was in his hands, the crowd was in a frenzy … His range was the minute he came out of the locker room. I am telling you, if there was a 3-point line during that era, he would have put points up at a staggering rate and his stat totals would be way higher than they are.”

Celtics guard Terry Duerod, right
Terry Duerod, right, talks to M. L. Carr on the Boston Celtics bench on Dec. 5, 1980 in Boston during a game against Dallas. (AP)

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