The Portland Trail Blazers began their game last Sunday, November 9, by honoring Sandra Zickefoose, 67, who passed away after collapsing during last Thursday’s game.
During the fourth quarter of last Thursday’s game, Zickefoose collapsed for reasons which have not yet been released. Paramedics responded quickly and administered CPR as they rushed her to Emanuel Hospital. She passed away later that night in the hospital.
“I’m sure myself and the Trail Blazers, we’ll do something on our end to try to give back or just try to help,” Trail Blazer Lamarcus Aldridge promised during practice on Friday.
A single red rose lay over the season ticket holder’s reserved seat and the stadium observed a moment of silence in Zickefoose’s honor.
Additionally, at Aldridge’s request, players and behind-the-scenes personnel wore shirts donning the team’s pinwheel logo and “Sandy” Zickefoose’s name in red in lieu of the regular warm-up shooting shirts.
Player Wesley Matthews found out about the shirts on Sunday upon arriving at the Moda Center.
“I saw it and right away I was excited about it,” he said. “It means a lot. It’s tough for everybody. I can’t even imagine what the family is going through right now and to be wearing this, to be representing this, gives us a little added edge going into tonight.”
Coach Terry Stotts said, “I think it’s a small gesture. Obviously, when someone loses their life, there’s a lot of sadness and grief. I think it’s just a way for us to show the family that we are thinking of her and hoping that they’re doing well.”
Twelve members of Zickefoose’s family, including her husband Michael, attended last Sunday’s game to observe her memorial.