Chris Ford Obituary, Former Celtics Basketball Player Dies At 74

Chris Ford Obituary, Death – Chris Ford, 74, former American professional basketball player and head coach has passed away on January 17, 2023. He was a member of three NBA World Championship Boston Celtics teams, one as a key player on the 1981 Champions, and subsequently as an assistant coach for the 1984 and 1986 champs. On October 12, 1979, he made the first counted NBA three-point shot. Ford, a 6-foot-5 (1.96 m) guard from Atlantic City, attended Holy Spirit High School in Absecon, New Jersey. He set a Cape-Atlantic League record with 33 points per game as a senior and concluded his career with 1,507 points, which is still a school record.

Ford then signed with Villanova University, sat out his freshman year as was required, and quickly established himself, averaging 16.1 points per game and helping the team advance to the 1970 NCAA University Division basketball tournament regional finals, where they were defeated 97-74 by St. Bonaventure, led by Bob Lanier, a future Ford teammate with the Detroit Pistons. Villanova and Ford continued to dominate, reaching the championship game of the 1971 NCAA University Division basketball tournament before falling to UCLA and famed coach John Wooden 68-62. The season average for Ford was 13.8 mpg.

Ford averaged 17.9 points and 6.4 rebounds per game as a senior, propelling Villanova to the NCAA tournament, where they were upset by Penn 78-67 in the regional semi-finals. Ford averaged 15.8 points per game and 6.0 rebounds per game in college, assisting Villanova to three consecutive NCAA tournament appearances. The Detroit Pistons selected Ford in the 1974 NBA draft (2nd round, 17th overall pick). Ford established himself as a defensive regular for Detroit, guiding the team to four straight postseason appearances (1974-1977). His career high was 12.3 points per game, 3.3 rebounds per game, 4.1 assists per game, and eighth in the NBA in thefts during the volatile 1976-77 Detroit Pistons season (179).

In exchange for Earl Tatum, he was transferred by Detroit to the Boston Celtics in October 1978. In the 1978-79 Boston Celtics season, he set a career best with 15.6 points per game and was a member of the 1981 Boston Celtics championship squad. After the 1981-82 season, he left the Boston Celtics with 10-year career averages of 9.2 points per game, 3.4 assists per game, and 1.6 steals per game, finishing in the top 100 in thefts per game. Ford also appeared alongside Pistons colleagues Bob Lanier, Eric Money, John Shumate, Kevin Porter, and Leon Douglas in the 1979 cult classic basketball film The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh.

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