(Media Release from the Oregon Athletic Department)
Ballard teamed with Ron Lee as the heart and soul of the 1970s’ Duck teams coached by Dick Harter and known for their grit, hustle and determination. During his four seasons at Oregon from 1973-77, Lee set the school record with 1,114 career rebounds, a mark that still stands nearly four decades later.
He scored 1,829 career points, a mark that still ranks fourth in school history. Ballard also owns the Ducks’ single-game scoring record of 43 points, a mark he set in a National Invitation Tournament first round game against Oral Roberts on March 9, 1977.
During his four seasons at Oregon, the Ducks went 64-42 and stunned top-ranked UCLA 56-51 on Feb. 16, 1974. Ballard and his teammates also accomplished the rare feat of winning back-to-back games in the Bruins’ Pauley Pavilion, taking a 65-45 decision in 1976 and winning 61-60 in 1977.
The four-year starter was the fourth overall pick in the 1977 NBA Draft by the Washington Bullets and as a rookie, won the 1978 NBA title with the Bullets. He played eight seasons with Washington before he was traded to Golden State in June 1985. He spent two years with the Warriors (1986-87) and then played two games with the Seattle Supersonics in 1989.
He set a career high average of 18.8 points a game in the 1981-82 season with the Bullets, and totaled career numbers of 12.4 points and 6.1 rebounds per outing in 802 games.
After his playing career, he served a total of 21 seasons as an assistant coach and a scout for a number of franchises, including the Atlanta Hawks, Minnesota Timberwolves and Dallas Mavericks.
Ballard also spent time in Treviso, Italy as part of the NBA’s Basketball Without Borders, the league’s premier international basketball and community relations outreach program.
Ballard was inducted into the UO Athletic Hall of Fame in 1993, and was inducted into the state of Oregon's Hall of Fame in 1996. He was a Pac-12 Hall of Honor inductee in 2009.
Ballard is survived by his wife Donna, and their children, Lawrence, Gabrielle and Gregory Jr.