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Published August 18, 2013, 07:58 AM

Phil Jackson supports retirement of UND nickname

WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) — University of North Dakota alumnus and NBA legend Phil Jackson says he supports the retirement of UND's Fighting Sioux nickname.

By: Associated Press, Associated Press

WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) — University of North Dakota alumnus and NBA legend Phil Jackson says he supports the retirement of UND's Fighting Sioux nickname.

Jackson tells the Williston Herald that "if it's offensive to people, we need to change it, gracefully."

Sixty-eight-percent of North Dakota voters last year voted to drop the nickname deemed "hostile and abusive" by the NCAA.

Jackson returned to his hometown of Williston over the weekend for his 50th high school reunion and a baseball tournament.

He graduated from UND in 1967 with degrees in psychology, philosophy and religion. He was the UND's all-time leading scorer.

Jackson played 13 seasons in the NBA, including 11 with the New York Knicks. As a coach, he led the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers to multiple titles.

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