PRINCETON — Basketball will take center stage at the Chuck Mathena Center on Sunday afternoon.
Rod Thorn, a collegiate All-American basketball player at West Virginia University, will return to his native Princeton to receive a proclamation naming the exit 9 interchange of Interstate 77 and US 460 in his honor.
“He’s had an incredible career,” Del. John Frazier said. “How many communities have had someone like Rod Thorn?”
After leaving WVU, Thorn was selected second overall in the 1963 NBA Draft by the Baltimore Bullets. He was named to the All-Rookie team his first year and later played for the Detroit Pistons, St. Louis Hawks, and Seattle Supersonics.
Prehaps, Thorn is best remembered for his career in the front offices of the NBA. After ending his career as a player, Thorn was an assistant coach with Seattle Supersonics under Hall of Famer Lenny Wilkins and the New York Nets.
As the resolution in Thorn’s honor explained, “In 1978, Rod Thorn began a seven year stint as general manager of the Chicago Bulls and he was instrumental in the team’s selection of Michael Jordan in the 1984 NBA Draft.”
Then from 1986 to 2000, he served as the Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations of the NBA before returning to the Nets this time as President of the team. Thorn was named as Executive of the Year for his role in creating an NBA Finals team during the 2002 season.
Currently, Thorn serves as the President of the Philadelphia 76ers.
Sunday’s ceremony will be a reunion of sorts for Thorn, his former teammate at WVU, Gale Catlett, will be there along with current WVU Head Coach Bob Huggins. Festivities will begin at 1:30 p.m.
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