CHARLOTTE AMALIE, U.S. Virgin Islands (AP) _ The governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands is planning celebrations to honor native son Tim Duncan for helping the San Antonio Spurs win their fourth NBA title in nine years.
``We are truly proud of Tim Duncan, the Spurs' common denominator, who leads his team by examples of discipline, dedication and diligence,'' Gov. John deJongh Jr. said in a statement on Friday. ``We will plan appropriate ceremonies to show our appreciation.''
Duncan, the team's leading scorer averaging 22.2 points per game in the playoffs, grew up on the island of St. Croix and has long been one of the biggest celebrities in the three-island U.S. territory of 110,000 people.
Although he was largely absent offensively on Thursday, Duncan helped San Antonio cement itself among the league's greatest franchises with an 83-82 win and four-game sweep of the Cleveland Cavaliers to win the NBA finals.
Duncan was a basketball phenom for St. Dunstan's Episcopal High School on St. Croix before going on to star at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The Spurs made Duncan the first overall pick in the 1997 draft, and he helped the team win its first NBA title in 1999.
Justin Egbert, a bartender at the Caribbean Saloon in Red Hook, St. Thomas, said islanders packed the business on Thursday to cheer on Duncan and the Spurs.
``I sort of wanted Cleveland to win at least one game so we could keep up the beer sales,'' quipped Egbert, originally from Washington D.C. ``But in the end we all knew the Spurs would win it.''