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Christopher Joseph Ford

ford crop

Marker is located on the southeast corner of Mississippi and Arctic Avenues

Marker text:

1949-
An Atlantic City native, Ford's basketball career began on the court of St. Michael's Dante Hall. The 6'5" guard attended Holy Spirit High School and finished his All-American career as the school's all-time scoring leader. Ford went on to play for Villanova University where he reached the NCAA Finals in 1971 and set the school record for assists in a career. He then played ten seasons in the NBA, six with the Detroit Pistons and four with the Boston Celtics. Ford became the first player to score a three-point field goal in NBA history on October 12, 1979. He was a starter on the Celtics' 1981 championship team. Ford was an assistant coach for the Celtics from 1983 to 1990, where he won championships in 1984 and in 1986. Ford was the head coach for the Celtics from 1990-95. He coached the Eastern Conference in the 1991 NBA All-Star game. Ford was also the head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks (1996-98), the Los Angeles Clippers (1998-2000), and the Philadelphia 76ers (2003-04). He then worked as a scout for the 76ers.

 

Additional information:


Chris Ford grew up in the Ducktown section of Atlantic City, and married his high-school sweetheart - despite the fact that he attended Holy Spirit and she was a cheerleader for the rival Atlantic City High School. His jersey number was retired after his last game at Holy Spirit, and he went on to his career in the NBA. As a coach, he was said to be "loose and relaxed" with his players, but also to "command respect" from them. Although Ford's job has taken him far away from Atlantic City and causes him to move often, his ties to the area remain. He and his wife have a summer home in Margate, and two of his four children have followed in their dad's footsteps. His son, Chris Ford, Jr., coached high school basketball at Cumberland Regional, and then went on to become a junior varsity girls' basketball coach at Atlantic City High School. In 2010, he was promoted to coach the girl's basketball team. Ford's daughter, Katie, became a junior varsity basketball coach at Oakcrest High School. Chris Ford was inducted into the Atlantic City Hall of Fame in 1997, and July 15, 1990 was declared "Chris Ford Day" in Atlantic County. Bill Gormley, the Atlantic County state senator at the time, said that "Despite the awards and the newspaper clips, Chris Ford would always say hello to you first and never let his status supersede his ability to recognize old friends." His marker is located near the site of St. Michael's Church and Dante Hall where his basketball dreams began.

For more information, see these resources in the Atlantic City Free Public Library, Atlantic City Heritage Collections:
Atlantic City Press, articles from January 19, 1999, January 18, 2002, October 14, 2010, January 16, 1999, November 21, 1997, and July 16, 1990

 

 

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