Phil Jackson Ford Jr. is a retired American professional basketball player in the National Basketball Association (NBA). He graduated from Rocky Mount Senior High School in 1974, and had an All-American college career at North Carolina.
Ford played four years of basketball at the University of North Carolina. After his sophomore season, Ford started for the U.S. Olympic team that won the gold medal in 1976. While a senior, he averaged 20.8 points a game during the 1977–78 season. In 1978, Ford finished his career at Carolina as the leading all-time leading scorer in school history with 2,290 points. Ford was inducted into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame in May 1991. On December 18, 2008, Tyler Hansbrough surpassed Ford's total.
He also finished his career as the only player in Atlantic Coast Conference history to score over 2,000 points and register at least 600 assists (a record now shared with Travis Best of Georgia Tech and Greivis Vásquez of Maryland). A consensus All-American in 1976, 1977, and 1978, he was named college player of the year in 1978, when he won the Eastman, USBWA College Player of the Year and John R. Wooden Awards. In 2002 Ford was named to the ACC 50th Anniversary men's basketball team honoring the fifty best players in ACC history.
The second pick in the first round of the draft, Ford was NBA Rookie of the Year with the Kansas City Kings in 1979. In 482 NBA games, Ford scored 5,594 points, an 11.6 average, and had 3,083 assists, an average of 6.4 per game. He retired from the NBA in 1985.
In 1988 he returned to North Carolina as an assistant coach, and helped lead the Tar Heels to the 1993 national title. After Smith retired in 1997, Ford became the top assistant to his successor, Bill Guthridge.
Ford left the school following UNC's 1999-2000 Final Four season, along with the rest of Guthridge's staff, when Matt Doherty took over as head coach with his own coaching staff.
Ford currently works for the Educational Foundation, the fund-raising arm of the University of North Carolina athletic department. He also briefly served as color commentator on UNC basketball broadcasts.
Ford served as an assistant coach to Larry Brown for the Detroit Pistons (2004–2005). After a brief stint as an assistant coach to Isiah Thomas for the New York Knicks (2005–2007), Ford was retained in the same position by the Charlotte Bobcats' new head coach Larry Brown from June 2008 to 2010.
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