Former NBA champ Terry Duerod to retire from Detroit Fire Dept after 27 years

He is an NBA champion who has played basketball in Detroit, Dallas, Boston and Washington state.

Terry Duerod went from being a sports hero to one in real life.

Duerod, an NBA champion from the 1980s who was born and raised in Detroit, made an unlikely career move 27 years ago when he started working for the Detroit Fire Department.

Growing up, Terry Duerod dreamed of playing basketball - but opted to stay close to home when it came to picking a college.

"I had a lot of different (college) letters from all over," Duerod said. "My mother and dad wanted me to go to school here and stay here."

The 6 feet, 2 inch point guard from Highland Park High School got his break playing under Dick Vitale at the then-named University of Detroit, He then made it to the NBA and played for the Detroit Pistons in 1979, the Dallas Mavericks and then the Boston Celtics, where he earned a championship ring.

"We won the championship in 1980-81 with Larry Bird," he said.

He played a few more years with the NBA, then overseas in Europe, then the man nicknamed "Sweet Doo" was ready return home for a different life.

"I had friends that were on the job and they told me about it," Duerod said. "It sounded like an interesting career."

Duerod doesn't work for the money or recognition. He just wants to do what he can for Detroit.

"It was a challenge for me, I'm always up for a challenge," Duerod said. "I did it and it has been a great career for me."

For 27 years, Terry Duerod has served the Detroit Fire Department, and coming up this July, he's celebrating a new milestone.

"I am going to retire in July on my birthday," he said. "It has been a great ride. I met a lot of wonderful guys, I played on the fire department team, and we won a lot of championships.

"I am going to sit back and decide what I want to do,"

Just last week, Terry Duerod returned to UDM to receive the John Conti Letterman of Distinction Award. His Titan jersey number 42 will soon be retired.

"It is a great feeling that people remember you, they remember the stuff you did when you played basketball," he said. "For people to not forget who you are is amazing."

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