**Charlie Yelverton **

Played his high school basketball at Rice High School and was a highly recruited all -city performer! He then attended Fordham University and helped the Rams rise to national prominence under coach Digger Phelps. Charlie sometimes played with amnesia, because he would often forget he was only 6’2″, scoring over much taller players and repeatedly out-rebounding them to start fast-breaks.

He was drafted by the Portland Trailblazers and became a starter, playing along side Rookie-of-the Year, Sidney Wicks.

During a game on February 1, 1972, Yelverton did not participate in pre-game warm-ups. Yelverton later told the New York Post his protest was in response to the Vietnam War and capitalism. Probably the first public political protest in basketball history did not go over well with the Trailblazers, or the NBA.
Portland head coach Roland Todd was fired the next day for failing to handle the situation and Yelverton went on to play 24 more games for the Blazers. He was waived on September 1972, shortly before the Blazers were scheduled to travel to Hawaii for a pre-season tournament between NBA and ABA teams.
Yelverton then headed to Europe, where he played with Olympiacos in Greece, and Ignis Varese in Italy. He helped Ignis Varèse to win the 1975 EuroLeague championship, and helped the same team to reach two more EuroLeague Finals, in 1978 and 1979. He also won the 1978 Italian League championships, while in Varèse.
On February 3, 2008, Charlie Yelverton was selected among 105 players nominated for the 50 Greatest EuroLeague players of all time. He still lives in Italy where he was able to pursue his other passion, and became quite an accomplished jazz saxophonist!


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