Sabonis returns to Portland

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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Newly enshrined Hall of Famer Arvydas Sabonis was taken aback by the cheers he garnered at a downtown rally in his honor, telling fans he was appreciative that they remembered him.

Sabonis visited Portland this week after he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame last Friday. The 7-foot-3 Lithuanian center was a star in Europe before coming to the NBA at age 31 to play for the Trail Blazers. He spent seven seasons in Portland.

Sabonis had not returned to the city in the eight years since his retirement.

Former teammates Brian Grant and Chris Dudley took part in the noontime celebration Thursday. One boy who appeared to be too young to have seen Sabonis play held a sign that read" ''Sabas Rocks!"