NBA Career Wasn't Path Elgin Native Sund First Set out On

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), October 30, 2012 | Go to article overview

NBA Career Wasn't Path Elgin Native Sund First Set out On


When Rick Sund was playing basketball for Bill Chesbrough in the late 1960s, he never dreamed of ending up where he is today.

"When I went to Ohio University to start my masters program I was thinking Elgin and Elgin High," Sund says. "I always respected Ches and he was the athletic director at that time. At that time I was thinking more about being an AD. I wasnt thinking pro basketball."

But life has a way of taking twists we dont expect, and thats what happened with Sund, who has spent his entire career in high-level management positions with five different NBA teams.

Sund, a native of Elgin and 1969 Elgin High graduate who played basketball and football at Northwestern, will be honored Sunday night by the Elgin Sports Hall of Fame Foundation with a special recognition award when the organization holds its annual banquet and induction ceremony in the Heritage Ballroom at The Centre of Elgin.

"Its special," said Sund, a 1983 inductee of the ESHOF. "When I was inducted, it was a special moment and my mom was still alive for that. Im excited to come back. I try to spend as much time as I can supporting the foundation and the scholarships. Every other year I make it back for the golf outing to help support a real good foundation and the scholarships in Elgin. Elgin had a lot to do with my participation in athletics growing up."

Sund, who was also a member of the 1966 Elgin Teener League Babe Ruth baseball national championship team, says a free agent tryout with the Milwaukee Bucks actually started his career path.

"The Bucks had shown some interest in me and I spent some time with Wayne Embry but I didnt go there with the idea of having a career in pro basketball," Sund said. "But I had to do an internship and that led to a full-time position."

And a career, as it turned out. After 5 years with the Bucks, Sund became one of the youngest lead executives in the NBA when he was named Player Personnel Director of the Dallas Mavericks, where he worked from 1979-94, elevating to the position of Vice President of Basketball Operations. The Mavs won division titles in 1986 and 1987.

From Dallas, Sund went to Detroit in 1995 as VP of Player Personnel, later assuming the title of Executive VP and General Manager of Basketball Operations. The Pistons made four playoff appearances during Sunds tenure in Detroit.

From 2001-07, Sund was General Manager of the Seattle SuperSonics, who reached the postseason twice while he was there. …

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