Blaine native Luke Ridnour retires after 12-year NBA career

Blaine native and professional basketball player Luke Ridnour plans to do more with his annual youth basketball camp and the local sports community in retirement.

The former Blaine High School basketball star and 12-year NBA veteran announced his retirement from the league last month, after a career that stretched well past the average NBA career of 4.5 years, according to the league’s website.

Ridnour, 35, currently lives in Seattle but is looking into moving to Whatcom County, he said in a phone interview. Ridnour’s basketball career started in Blaine, where he led Blaine High School to two state championships.

“I think my fondest memories are still playing at Blaine High School,” he said. “High school basketball is some of the purest basketball and some of the most fun you can have.”

Ridnour has been teaching an annual youth basketball camp in Blaine for the past few years, and he wants to expand the camp.

Though he just made his retirement official, Ridnour has effectively been retired for the past year. After getting traded four times in one week in June 2015, he decided to sit out the 2015-2016 season to spend more time with his young family.

“The last year has been so good, just being able to be around my wife and kids everyday,” Ridnour said. “The fact that it’s permanent hasn’t really set in.”

Ridnour and his wife have four boys: a 7-year-old, twin 5-year-olds, a 1-year-old, and another baby on the way.

Ridnour’s NBA career started in 2003 when the Seattle SuperSonics drafted him. He spent much of the next five years as a starter with the Sonics, before going to the Milwaukee Bucks in a trade. He also played with the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Charlotte Bobcats and the Orlando Magic.

A trade from the Orlando Magic to the Memphis Grizzlies in June 2015 was the first in a series of four trades in less than a week that left his NBA prospects up in the air.

Ridnour called his time playing with the Sonics a highlight of his career. He became the Sonics’ starting point guard in the 2004-2005 season, filling a role left open by legendary Sonic Gary Payton a few years earlier.

Statistically, his years with the Sonics were some of his most impressive, averaging more than 10 points and five assists per game for most of his time in Seattle.

“Those are years I’ll always cherish – just being able to play with my home team,” Ridnour said. “But to me the highlights were more about the people that you get to meet and the relationships that you form.”

The Luke Ridnour Basketball Camp, for kids ages 6-12, runs July 27–29. Find more info at

Luke Ridnour teaching at his basketball camp in Blaine. Photo by Janell Kortlever.

Luke Ridnour teaching at his basketball camp in Blaine. Photo by Janell Kortlever.

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