Thursday, February 17, 2011

On the Beat With Gus Gerard

Gus Gerard played 7 seasons in the ABA/NBA.  He made the ABA All-Rookie team and later made the 1976 ABA All-Star game.  Gerard retired after the 1980-81 season with the San Antonio Spurs, leaving with a career average of 8.4 ppg.  He was born in Uniontown (PA) and remains a big Steelers fan.  He was originally drafted by the NBA's Portland Trailblazers, but signed with the ABA's Spirits of St. Louis instead.
While he accomplished a lot on the basketball court, he is accomplishing even more now off the court.  After overcoming his own drug problems, Gerard became a licensed chemical dependency counselor.
I contacted Gerard and he was gracious enough to answer my questions.

Q-How did it feel to see yourself on a basketball card and to sign your first autograph?
GG-I remember thinking of all the cards I used to have and never thought that I would someday be on a card. I still get people send me them to sign and return, it was great.

Q-Which team did you enjoy the most as a player?
GG-Kansas City Kings and Denver Nuggets.

Q-Do you keep in contact with any former teammates?
GG-Yes at retired players meetings and a lot live in Houston.

Q-You have accomplished so much, have turned your life around and are helping so many. What's next for you?
GG-My passion is to speak to H.S., college, and others who suffer from the disease of addiction, telling my personal story of recovery and giving them hope.  Next is just to continue to do what I'm doing now, helping others.

Q-Where was/is your favorite city to visit?
GG-Boston, San Diego, and San Antonio.

Q-You have done so much on and off the court. Have you ever considered writing a book?
GG-Not really, but I've some people tell me I should.

A final important message from Gerard:
If anyone needs help for themselves or others, please go to I would be glad to talk to them or guide them to a place they can get treatment.


N Hart said...

I remember him. Sorry to hear of his troubles, but glad he has overcome them and is helping others. Wonderful!

Frankie said...

I grew up in St. Louis and remember Gerard well. Great update.

Tommy Smith said...

Great memories.