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Blazers honor loyal fan

Bud's wish - Forest Grove's Bud Blansett gets his wish - a visit to the Rose Garden for a Trail Blazer game

Bud Blansett, who lives at Marquis Care in Forest Grove, recently had his fondest wish come true.

New Chapters, a Marquis program that grants wishes to seniors living in the company's facilities, 'writes a new chapter in our residents lives,' according to LaRayne Barrios, activity director.

Blansett was born and raised in Prairie Grove, Ark., where he played point guard for his high school basketball team. However, he's lived most of his life in Oregon and has been a fan of the Portland Trail Blazers from the early 1970s.

He often recalls the Blazers' 1977 national championship.

Blansett said he never had the money to see a game live at the old Memorial Coliseum or at the Rose Garden, but he rarely missed a televised game. In fact, he has a game schedule in his room and still doesn't miss a televised game.

When Blansett was asked if he'd like to go see the Blazers play at the Rose Garden, his face lit up. With a smile he said, 'Why sure, I like the big guy, Outlaw.' His favorite player of the current season is Travis Outlaw.

Tickets to the Blazers vs. Atlanta Hawks game were donated for Blansett and some of his friends and an Outlaw No. 25 home jersey was purchased for him to wear.

On Jan. 27 Blansett's big day arrived and he got ready for the game dressed in full Blazer attire. He rode the MAX train to the Rose Garden where there was one more surprise in store for him. Blansett was escorted by Blazer staff courtside to meet Travis Outlaw in person.

'He was just very gracious to Bud. He came right over and shook his hand,' said Barrios.

After receiving an autograph on his Outlaw jersey and telling Travis to 'go get 'em,' Bud headed to his seat to enjoy one of Portland's most exciting games.

Welcomed to the game with his name on the big screen - and with the Blazers coming from 19 down to win by one point - Blansett had an exciting ending to a perfect day.