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Thread: RIP (Dead basketball players thread)

  1. #21


    Thomas Emma player, former basketball player has been found dead after plunging from a Manhattan building.

    Thomas Emma played for Duke University from 1980-1983 and was a tenth-round pick for the Chicago Bulls in 1983, but never played a regular season game.

    He wrote a book titled "Basketball Player's Comprehensive Guide to Strength Training" and was president of Power Performance, Inc., a company devoted to training young athletes.

    It was an apparent suicide though he didn't leave a suicide note. He was 49.
    Last edited by worldbasketball; 06-09-2011 at 01:55 AM.

  2. #22
    Senior Member pata's Avatar
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    Country: Turkey


    Haris Brkic(1974-2000) - Murder

    Alexander Petrenko(1976-2006) - Car accident

  3. #23
    Administrator rikhardur's Avatar
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    Country: Portugal


    Quote Originally Posted by pata View Post
    Alexander Petrenko(1976-2006) - Car accident
    I remember this news, it was just awful for someone as talented as him.
    Another Russian, Yadgar Karimov, whose promising career ended so abruptly.

    Btw, Wikipedia has a list of deceased sports people, incluing basketball.
    Die Liebe wird eine Krankheit, wenn man sie als eine Heilung sieht
    Artificial Nature

  4. #24
    Senior Member
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    Sad news today... legendary Mike Mitchell died at 55 due to cancer.

    Former San Antonio Spurs and one of the best career scorers for the italian league playing mainly for Reggio Emilia... RIP Mike!

  5. #25


    High School Basketball Star Killed Outside 'Sweet 16' Party

    Fox News - June 6, 2011

    A star high school basketball player was killed Sunday and a second teen injured in a shooting after a “sweet 16” birthday party in Illinois.
    Ryan Royall was struck at least once in the back by stray bullets from a group of people fighting as he was preparing to get in his car, witnesses said.
    Police were called to the Ho-Chunk Sports and Expo Center just before 1:00 a.m., where they found two teens shot, a Lynwood police release stated.

    The standout basketball player from Hillcrest High School was taken to Franciscan St. Margaret mercy Health Care in Dyer, Ind., where he was pronounced dead, Deputy Coroner Pam Nauracy said.
    After an autopsy Sunday morning, Royall’s death was ruled a homicide, Nauracy said.

    Another teen was taken to the hospital after being shot in the leg.
    The party was attended by 300-500 guests. Hillcrest coast Don Houston said the 17-year-old was expected to be one of his top players this year. "Ryan was one of my leading players, an all-conference guy. Just a tough kid on the court," Houston told the Chicago Sun-Times.

    Royall helped the Hillcrest High School basketball team go 3-0 at a tournament Saturday. Houston said they were set to play in the championship bracket Sunday. The whole team convened at the teen’s mother’s house Sunday afternoon. “We're just doing the best we can to keep her spirits up," Houston told the Chicago Sun-Times.

    Royall’s aunt, Valerie Dixson, told MyFoxChicago that her nephew was dedicated to his friends, his family and his basketball team.
    “I have challenged his basketball team that every freethrow is his, every freethrow is in his honor,” Dixson told MyFoxChicago. “Because that’s all Ryan did, he played ball.” Authorities are currently interviewing witnesses, but so far there are no suspects and no arrests.


    Ryan Royall deserves many words

    There are two tragedies in the death of 17-year-old Ryan Royall.

    First, and most profoundly, his death deprives a family of a loving son and his classmates of a cherished friend. Every sign says he was a great kid whose future was going to be as great as he chose to make it.

    But the second tragedy spreads out to touch everyone in the community: every one of the up to 500 teens at the Ho-Chunk Sports and Expo Center party in Lynwood that night; every one in the larger community who desires a respectful, peaceful, caring life.

    The second tragedy touches us all, and this is it.

    It’s almost sure that someone near the parking lot where Ryan was gunned down last weekend either saw who did it or knows who did.

    The person who knows might be reading this now.

    We hope so.

    Because if you are reading this, then we want you to remember who Ryan was and consider who he might have become had the bullet not struck him down. Maybe he was a friend. You may have known both Ryan and the person who shot him.

    A party, teenagers, guns. It might have been random; it might have been a grudge. Ryan apparently got in the way of a bullet aimed at someone else.

    We might never know all those answers, but what we do know is that too many kids are shot down by killers who never are caught because of this cocoon of quiet.

    There are few more pervasive and corrosive cultural cornerstones than the refusal to help police solve a crime.

    “We” don’t help the “enemy.” And “we” punish those who do with our scorn.

    A newspaper might not be able to fix a societal chasm such as this one simply by offering our opinion.

    But we do hope that the one person who knows, the one person who saw, can summon courage and do what it is right.

    Telling police what happened and who pulled the trigger will not solve issues of race and class and culture in this country. All our voice can do is to help you remember who Ryan Royall was and why his death should mean more than the silence it has produced.

    If you are reading this, speak.

    Doesn’t Ryan Royall deserve it?


    A message in a music video

    Here is a beautiful music video by Kenny Chesney that involves, among others, the death of a basketball player in "Who you'd be today"

    Sunny days seem to hurt the most.
    I wear the pain like a heavy coat.
    I feel you everywhere I go.
    I see your smile, I see your face,
    I hear you laughin' in the rain.
    I still can't believe you're gone.

    It ain't fair: you died too young,
    Like the story that had just begun,
    But death tore the pages all away.
    God knows how I miss you,
    All the hell that I've been through,
    Just knowin' no-one could take your place.
    An' sometimes I wonder,
    Who'd you be today?

    Would you see the world? Would you chase your dreams?
    Settle down with a family,
    I wonder what would you name your babies?
    Some days the sky's so blue,
    I feel like I can talk to you,
    An' I know it might sound crazy.

    It ain't fair: you died too young,
    Like the story that had just begun,
    But death tore the pages all away.
    God knows how I miss you,
    All the hell that I've been through,
    Just knowin' no-one could take your place.
    An' sometimes I wonder,
    Who you'd be today?

    Today, today, today.
    Today, today, today.

    [Instrumental Break]

    Sunny days seem to hurt the most.
    I wear the pain like a heavy coat.
    The only thing that gives me hope,
    Is I know I'll see you again some day.

    Some day, some day, some day.
    Last edited by worldbasketball; 06-19-2011 at 02:45 PM.

  6. #26


    An article about John Kiwanuka Ssimbwa, a figure in Ugandan basketball

    "Hoops damaged Ssimbwa’s brain, stressed him to death"

    Too much love will kill you, English artiste Brian May sang over two decades ago. Yes, it does kill. John Kiwanuka Ssimbwa never heeded May’s advice. He loved with all his soul, although in this case, it was not a woman that he had excess feelings for. It was basketball, a sport that probably currently ranks second behind football in popularity in Uganda.

    Yet, until mid-2000s, national basketball league games at YMCA Wandegeya would not attract noteworthy crowds. But for Ssimbwa, Uganda’s national league now ranks among the best in East Africa. Unfortunately, he didn’t live to enjoy the fruits of his sweat. Aged 48, Ssimbwa died on Monday. It’s too much stress which eventually cut short his life.

    “Because of too much stress, the brain gave way. It was damaged,” David Kato, Ssimbwa’s best friend told mourners at the deceased’s burial in Kinoni, Masaka on Wednesday. Kato was quoting a doctor’s report.
    And much of that stress was a result of his undying love for basketball.

    “At times he would come to borrow money from me to pay match allowances to his players,” Kato revealed. “I wouldn’t understand why he went that far just because of a game. I tried to talk him out of it but failed.”

    That was Ssimbwa. He was willing to do anything for the game especially if his team Falcons was in question. Since 1998 when "Falcons" came into existence as a breakaway faction from the then-dominant "Blue Jackets", Ssimbwa has been the force behind the development of basketball in Uganda although most of his achievements went unnoticed.

    He was a quiet man incapable of bragging or showing off. While starting "Falcons", he had a dream of building the biggest club in Africa. “I know one day Falcons will be African champions,” he once confided in this writer.

    To achieve that dream, he gave everything. Ten years after formation, Falcons became the most successful club in Uganda – winning a record six national league titles.

    Crucially, in 2000, Falcons became the first Ugandan club to win the East, Central and Southern Africa Club Championship. No other team has come close to attaining such a feat. “Ssimbwa was a giant upon which we stood to succeed,” Ronnie Kaboha, the Falcons founding coach, said during Ssimbwa’s requiem mass at Christ the King Church in Kampala on Tuesday. “He made sure the team travelled to Zambia, Tanzania, Rwanda and Kenya using his personal money,” fighting back tears, Kaboha added.

    Falcons’ rise ignited competition in the league which attracted sponsors and the image of the game started to change. In his first term of office as Federation of Uganda Basketball Associations (Fuba) president, Uganda hosted the 2005 East and Central Africa Nations Championship. While most members of his executive reportedly wanted Uganda to cede rights to host that championship due to financial constraints, Ssimbwa resisted.

    He quipped in with a cash injection and Uganda successfully hosted the event. They emerged champions in the men’s category as well. That’s the best national team performance in the past two decades.

    Last coin

    Interestingly, the huge investments had an impact on Ssimbwa as a family man. “He never built himself a residential house in Kampala,” Kato revealed.
    That’s how much he loved basketball; he would spend his last coin on the game. On several occasions, he hired Kenyan coach Smatts Olumbo to fly in the country and rescue Falcons during tough times.

    Ssimbwa lost his job at Uganda Revenue Authority in 2009 and many expected him to close the cash taps on Falcons, who had gone two seasons without a trophy. Instead, he broke the country’s transfer record by paying Shs72m for the signature of Stephen Omony, who had been playing professional basketball with Seychelles side "PSL Hawks" since 2002. It was at Falcons that Omony cut his teeth before turning professional but that didn’t stop him from walking out on the record champions following Ssimbwa’s failure to meet his financial part of the bargain after 10 months.

    Ssimbwa was left speechless by the development although he still had the belief of competing without his treasured star. Barely two months later, Falcons lost the Malinga brothers – Eric and Henry – to "Warriors". Ssimbwa could not take it. He was devastated by the loss of players that were the team’s pivot, a friend revealed.

    But he remained defiant. At the start of the 2010 season, he spread his wings across borders to look for talent that would reignite the club’s fortunes. Sudi Ulanga, Richard Osano, Mike Buzangu, Bienvenu Ngandu, Cedric Sinarinzi, Karim Nkusi, Didier Gahorani and Albert Lukunja were shipped in from different East African countries to start a new chapter at Falcons. Ssimbwa was very confident of regaining the league title with that crop of players.

    But apart from Osano, Ulanga, Sinarinzi and Omondi, the rest went on strike a few days to the play-offs. That hit Ssimbwa so hard. This was despite spending close to Shs45m trying to put the club back on track. He knew his project and dream had been shattered. His health took a turn for worse thereafter. In and out of hospital regularly, the basketball enthusiast kept his frustrations to himself.

    “I visited him at Mengo Hospital towards the end of May (last month) and he looked so stressed. He never wanted to talk to anyone or eat anything,” Peninah Kabenge, who served under Ssimbwa as Fuba vice-chairperson (2005-2007), revealed.

    Every time people around him talked about basketball, his health deteriorated. Just two months ago, Ssimbwa handed over his club presidency to Dennis Mbidde. And Mbidde admits his predecessor was a rare breed. “Ssimbwa did not own a car but would manage to spend Shs12m from his pocket in one day. He was a selfless man.”

    Good point guard

    The second born of 27 siblings, Ssimbwa went to Kimanya Primary School before joining St Henry’s College, Kitovu for O’level. He attained his advanced level education at Caltec Academy and St Mary’s College-Kisubi. In 1985, he joined Makerere University to pursue a Bachelor of Statistics degree.

    At Makerere, he was a revelation for the university team. “Ssimbwa was a very good point guard,” said Kabenge, who had a chance of playing with the deceased at Makerere pool court.

    As a first year student, Ssimbwa was part of the Makerere team that competed at the East and Central Africa University Championship. He also studied postgraduate courses at the Indian Institute of Commerce and the Institute of Social Sciences in Netherlands. He worked at the Ministry of Commerce and Cooperatives and lectured at Ndejje University.

    His love sports stretched beyond basketball. Ssimbwa loved running. He never missed the Kampala marathon since it started in 2004. Surprisingly, at his age, he easily competed over 21km and completed with ease. “He was a very honest man,” his brother Henry Ssemanda said. Sadly, the people he helped before he got bedridden never returned the favour.
    Last edited by worldbasketball; 06-19-2011 at 02:21 PM.

  7. #27


    Quote Originally Posted by worldbasketball View Post
    ESPN news magazine, "Outside the Lines," showed a 16-minute feature story on Wes Leonard, the Fennville basketball star who died after scoring the winning basket to clinch an undefeated season on March 23, 2011

    The video includes interviews from Leonard's family, coach, teammates and classmates. The tragic story quickly became national news. The team, with the blessing of the family, decided to play in the state tournament in honor of Leonard.|img|Opinion|p

    The video of the 16 minute report in the link above


    Also check this for the incident and important medical facts about enlarged hearts..

    Plus the importance of regular checkups for sportsmen.

    As an addition to this, I found this:

    BROOKLYN, Mich. -- 18 June 2011 - (AP) — A Michigan high school basketball player who died earlier this year after making a game-winning shot will be honored at Michigan International Speedway this weekend. Travis Kvapil's No. 38 Ford will carry the logo of the "Wes Leonard Heart Team" on its rear quarter panels.
    Wes Leonard's parents, brother and grandparents and members of the foundation will be guests of the No. 38 team at Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup race.The No. 38 Ford, sponsored by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA),

    The 16-year-old basketball player Wes Leonard had cardiac arrest March 3 because of his enlarged heart. Bob Jenkins, owner of Front Row Motorsports' No. 38 Ford, says he wants to help raise awareness for the "Wes Leonard Heart Team", which was set up to try to prevent similar tragedies in the future.

    "I have kids and, in fact, I have a teenage daughter who's just a little younger than Wes was when he died. As a parent, you see your kids running around, looking as healthy as can be, you don't think that something might be wrong,'' Kvapil said. "And that was the case with Wes and his family. Helping the Wes Leonard Heart Team will bring awareness to the need for better screening to find those red flags that a lot of times parents and coaches, and even doctors, might not normally see.''

    "No parent should have to watch their child die - ever," said Jocelyn Leonard, Wes' mother. "You cannot look at someone and say how young they are, or they are so fit. You have to look at the distress signs you are seeing and react accordingly. All gyms and schools should have working AEDs and staff that have an emergency response plan to put that life-saving equipment into use."



  8. #28


    Music message


    By RyanDan (Ryan and Dan Kowarsky)
    (written by them on the death of their 4-year-old niece) (studio) (live)

    Cover my eyes
    Cover my ears
    Tell me these words are a lie
    It can't be true
    That I'm losing you
    The sun cannot fall from the sky

    Can you hear heaven cry
    Tears of an angel
    Tears of aaaaaaaa...
    Tears of an angel
    Tears of an angel.

    Stop every clock
    Stars are in shock
    The river would run to the sea
    I won't let you fly
    I won't say goodbye
    I won't let you slip away from me

    Can you hear heaven cry
    Tears of an angel
    Tears of aaaaaaaa...
    Tears of an angel
    Tears of an angel.

    So hold on
    Be strong
    Everyday on we'll go
    I'm here, dont you fear
    Little one dont let go
    Dont let go
    Dont let go

    Cover my eyes
    Cover my ears
    Tell me these words are a lie
    Last edited by worldbasketball; 06-21-2011 at 12:51 AM.

  9. #29
    Senior Member Khalid80's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Abu Dhabi, UAE
    Country: Lebanon


    Len Bias 25 years Later...

    Twenty-five years later, Bias' death remains a seminal sports moment

    Jack McCallum-INSIDE THE NBA

    About 9:30 on the morning of June 19, 1986, I got a call at home from John Papanek, an editor at Sports Illustrated. It was a Thursday, the beginning of SI's workweek.

    "So, what about Len Bias?" he asked.

    I had just completed my first year on the NBA beat, so I started right in on my basketball knowledge.

    "Perfect draft pick for the Celtics," I began. "He's too big and strong for most of the small forwards who'll guard him, and too quick for most of the power forwards ..."

    "Jack," John interrupted me. "Bias is dead."

    This was before the age of ubiquitous bombarding of social media, so it was within the realm of possibility to have gone to bed the night before without hearing big news.

    "You're kidding, right?" I said, echoing the response of a million others when they heard the news. "How? When? Why?"

    "Looks like drugs," said Papanek. "You're on the story."

    So much for the vacation that was supposed to occur after a long NBA season that had ended 11 days earlier.

    Within a couple hours I was in my car driving somewhere, either to Landover (where Bias grew up), College Park (where he played at the University of Maryland) or Baltimore or Washington (where he might've gotten the cocaine that killed him). As I recall, I encamped somewhere in the nexus of those places.

    Twenty-five years later, the death of the 22-year-old Bias -- who had just been selected by reigning champion Boston as the No. 2 pick in the 1986 draft, the player who was going to be the bridge to another Celtics title, not a "new Larry Bird" but certainly a next-generation version of the legend -- remains one of the most memorable stories I ever covered. And not just for me. Documentarian Kirk Fraser created "Without Bias" for ESPN's "30 for 30" film series. At the NBA Finals in Dallas recently, I had breakfast with Mike Wilbon, the former Washington Post columnist who is now with ESPN, when the death of Bias came up in conversation. "Covering Len Bias and covering the Dream Team were the most important stories in my career," Wilbon said.

    I feel the same way.

    There were many reasons the Bias story was so big and why it has endured -- and will continue to endure -- for so long:

    • The timing of his death was shocking, existentially horrific. The NBA draft had been held only 40 hours before he died, and Bias had been there, in New York, one of the prime attractions, the smiling Sure Thing wearing a Celtics cap. Then it all went away. The New Kid on the NBA block was suddenly, and startlingly, the Dead Kid on the Block.

    • The tragedy involved a player at a major school, and, more significantly, one of the most storied franchises in the sport. The story was so big in any case but would've gotten far less play had Bias been drafted by, say, the Los Angeles Clippers.

    • The central character was an extraordinarily talented player, one of the best ever to play in the ACC. That brought an even larger dimension of snuffed-out potential to the story.

    • The cause of death was puzzling and alarming. Most of us who covered pro basketball at that time had some experience in writing about players and cocaine. But nobody, as far as we knew, had ever seized up and died from it suddenly, certainly not a college kid in the prime of life. That meant there was a medical mystery to uncover.

    • There was a true detective mystery, too. With whom had Bias spent his final, fateful hours? Had someone given him bad stuff? How had he alone turned up as a fatality when he didn't have the reputation for being a drug user? The next three days became a search for a Bias acquaintance named Brian Tribble, who had allegedly supplied the coke and made the ominous 911 call to the police that Bias was dying.

    • The story had implications for the Maryland basketball program, far more than we knew at the time. In the early hours of discovery, coach Lefty Driesell had reportedly coached his players on how to respond to questions from police, a violation of the law.

    • Finally, the death of Bias had a truly lurid aspect to it that brought out the tabloids. It was the first story I ever covered at which I was fighting the National Enquirer for access.

    And, really, access was the issue. In journalism, access is always the issue. But access with whom? Who to talk to? What to ask them? With a dead protagonist, who was the central character? And what was the story essentially about? Was it one kid's tragedy? One league's tragedy? An investigation into rampant drug use among college athletes? A cautionary tale for the body politic?

    The Celtics provided the standard quotes -- Bird's "It's the cruelest thing I've ever heard" being by far the most memorable -- but none of them knew Bias well, and there was only so far to take that. Driesell wasn't talking. This Brian Tribble was in the wind. Bias' parents, Lonise and James, were in hiding. My worst moment of the weekend occurred as I staked out the Bias home, feeling like a thief waiting to strike or a guy in a raincoat staring into a window. And that was before I spotted a National Enquirer reporter hiding in a tree with a long-lens camera. Covering sports has never been exactly like covering cotillions, but the guy in the tree made me nauseous about our information-gathering techniques.

    "That's it," I said to my photographer. "I don't care if Bias' parents do show. I gotta get outta here."

    At one point we thought we had spotted Bias' gray Datsun 300ZX being hitched up to be taken to police impoundment. It was in that vehicle that they eventually found, as the investigator put it, "white granules caked together in a chunk about the size of a bar of soap." It was coke. But as we advanced warily upon the car, looking like two members of the bomb squad, it turned out not to be Bias'.

    Like everyone else, I tried to find Tribble. I recall getting a tip on where he was and, with the SI photographer at the wheel, we sped down to the dangerous intersection of Montana and New York Avenues in northeast D.C. Against all odds, we came upon metro police executing a bust. They wouldn't talk to us, but somehow I became convinced that we had happened upon the Tribble arrest. We followed the police to the station and I bugged them so bad that they almost arrested me. Alas, it was not Tribble.

    We found out that Bias' brother, Jay, a promising high school player who was about to turn 16 years old, had a summer basketball game scheduled for that night. We drove to the gym, which was about seven miles from the Maryland campus, and I introduced myself. Obviously, he wasn't glad to see me and I managed to gather only a couple of mumbled quotes. "Len would've wanted me to play," the young man said. I felt like Vlad the Impaler even asking the kid to talk about his brother at such a time. I also talked to Jay's coach, who claimed that Jay "was a little further along than Len at that age" in his basketball development.

    I continued to collect details. There were signs and a general atmosphere of zombied disbelief around the quiet Maryland campus. It would've been a lot more dramatic and animated had school been in session. Bias was the Terrapins' favorite son, the one who was going to make everyone forget all those North Carolina and Duke stars who had made it big in the NBA.

    I made a call to Bias' agent, Lee Fentress, who went through Bias' final days, the emphasis being on how excited he was and how ready he was to become a Celtic. I made repeated calls to the state medical investigator, who finally concluded that Bias had died of "cardiorespiratory arrest brought on by the use of cocaine." But what did that mean exactly? Was it bad cocaine? Why didn't it happen to everyone who had been partying in the dorm room?

    So many questions and so few answers as I sat down to write the story on Saturday night. It was due on Sunday morning, bound for the cover.

    When a story is dramatic and the facts aren't all in and the big questions remain, your best strategy as a journalist is to just tell the story as simply and completely possible. Don't amp up the drama and the tragic nature -- they are implicit.

    What none of us realized at the time was how far-reaching the repercussions of the story would be. The Bias death was the catalyst for an investigation of the Maryland program, which eventually caused the dismissal of Driesell, one of the nation's best-known coaches. Driesell was no angel, but in this case he was more administration scapegoat than villain. It happens.

    Tribble was eventually apprehended, but was cleared in 1987 of any wrongdoing in the Bias case. In 1990, however, he was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for distributing cocaine. He appears as a talking head in the Fraser documentary.

    Bias' death was only part of a litany of misery visited upon the NBA's draft class of 1986, now widely known as the "cursed draft." No. 3 pick Chris Washburn (who later admitted that he, like Bias, was snorting coke to celebrate his selection) struggled mightily with drugs and was homeless for a while before cleaning himself up. William Bedford, the sixth pick, did extensive prison time on drug-related offenses. Roy Tarpley, selected right after Bedford, wrecked an All-Star career with drug use and was banned for life.

    It was because of 1986 that NBA teams began putting a higher priority on pre-draft investigations of players and the league instituted programs to counsel rookies about life lessons. Those programs don't have a 100 percent success rate, but we can't say for sure that they haven't saved someone from becoming another Bias.

    The saddest echo of the tragedy occurred right back in the Bias home. In December 1990, Jay Bias, the quiet kid I had interviewed about his big brother's death, was shot and killed in the parking lot of a shopping center in Hyattsville, Md., apparently because another man thought he was flirting with his wife. Jay had been a terrific high school player but could never get his academics together to play at a big-time school.

    "If you had to pick one person who suffered the most," Lonise Bias told The Washington Post after the death of her second son, "it has been Jay."

    I'll take her word for it. But I can't imagine the agony that a mother who has buried two sons has gone through. It's a small matter that means nothing in the grand scope of things, but I'm glad that I stopped hiding in her front yard on that surreal weekend 25 years ago.

  10. #30


    It is a sad sad story of how drugs ruin lives.

    Look at this amazing tribute to him on ESPN with so many reports and video footage. So sad.


    Pictures of Len Bias

    Last edited by worldbasketball; 06-21-2011 at 12:53 AM.

  11. #31


    As a side note, I never ever imagined this thread would be this emotional and we would have so many colleagues contributing eye-opening and quality materials.

    It is a thread that also tells part of our basketball history. Sadly, it will be a thread that will go on and on, because of so many tragedies, but I believe it is one of the best insights I had to establish this page on Interbasket about departing basketball players.

    It can be read years later and still be current enough to draw lessons from.

    In any case, it is our duty to pay tribute to our basketball brothers, in fame and sadly in their demise.....

    But still even in their deaths, they shine through as such beautiful people who touch our hearts so deep. Basketball.... the most beautiful of all sports... A sport that gives basketballers of such beauty and grace....


    Message in a song

    About the importance of paying tribute to parting ones



    By Brad Paisely feat. Dolly Parton


    When I get where I'm going
    on the far side of the sky.
    The first thing that I'm gonna do
    Is spread my wings and fly.

    I'm gonna land beside a lion,
    And run my fingers through his mane.
    Or I might find out what it's like
    To ride a drop of rain

    Yeah when I get where I'm going,
    There'll be only happy tears.
    I will shed the sins and struggles,
    I have carried all these years.
    And I'll leave my heart wide open,
    I will love and have no fear.
    Yeah when I get where I'm going,
    Don't cry for me down here.

    I'm gonna walk with my grandaddy,
    And he'll match me step for step,
    I'll tell him how I missed him,
    Every minute since he left.
    Then I'll hug his neck.


    So much pain and so much darkness,
    In this world we stumble through.
    All these questions, I can't answer,
    So much work to do.

    But when I get where I'm going,
    And I see my Maker's face.
    I'll stand forever in the light,
    Of His amazing grace.

    Yeah when I get where I'm going,
    Oh, when I get where I'm going,
    There'll be only happy tears.

    I will love and have no fear.
    When I get where I'm going.
    Yeah when I get where I'm going.
    Last edited by worldbasketball; 06-20-2011 at 03:24 PM.

  12. #32


    Donnel Allick, a former Connecticut high school basketball standout was shot and killed. Police found his body says the "Hartford Courant". He had been shot multiple times. He was brought to Yale New Haven Hospital, in Connecticut, where he died, police said. Allick was studying for a degree from Louisiana Tech, the "New Haven Register" reports. He had been arrested earlier in New Rochelle with 1,000 packets of "Hitman" Heroin. He was 31.

    Last edited by worldbasketball; 06-26-2011 at 02:22 PM.

  13. #33


    Ronald Leith "Chino" Williams, a Fayetteville teenager, who was a member of the Jack Britt High School basketball team, died June 6 morning in a crash in Fayetteville. it appears he lost control of the car he was driving, ran off the right side of the road and overturned, according to a police report. He was just 16. A passenger, 15-year-old Mytrez Marsh, was taken to hospital, but was released later.

    Williams' older sister, Shalaya, said she was extremely close with her brother.
    "He was very caring," she said. "He always asked me if I needed anything or wanted anything. He was just an all-around happy person." He enjoyed helping others, no matter what age they were, Shalaya added.

    Williams was a sophomore at Britt this year and a member of the varsity boys' basketball team. Britt varsity boys' basketball coach Ike Walker Jr., said Williams was a very personable, very courteous young man.

    See photos and a video of a news coverage at

  14. #34


    Billy Lewis, who became the first African-American basketball player at the University of Colorado program died in his home in Sarasota, Fla.. He was 72.Lewis was an accomplished player when he came out of Denver's Manual High School in 1956. His first varsity game at CU was in the 1957-58 season. However, his college career didn't blossom, though he played for three seasons.
    After graduation in 1960, Lewis earned a law degree from Howard University and rose to prominence in the legal field. He was a corporate attorney for IBM.
    During an interview with The Denver Post in February 2008, Lewis said his diminished role as a basketball player at CU had caused him a great deal of anguish blaming his CU coach Sox Walseth for his problems on the basketball floor. Lewis was inducted into the CU Sports Hall of Fame in October 2008.

  15. #35
    Senior Member sinobball's Avatar
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    Apr 2004


    Armen Gilliam, a former #2 pick, died playing bball. I've never seen him play but I knew he did well in the semi-pro ABA league a few years back. RIP
    aim low, score high

  16. #36
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2007

    Default NBA Legend Armen Gilliam dies

    July 5, 2011

    PITTSBURGH (AP)—Armen Gilliam, who was part of the UNLV Runnin’ Rebels basketball team that made a run to the Final Four in 1987 and played for several NBA teams, has died. He was 47.

    The Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s Office said Wednesday that Gilliam died Tuesday night at the LA Fitness gym in Bridgeville while he was playing basketball.

    The office said the cause of death has not yet been determined pending an autopsy which is likely to be completed later Wednesday.

    After college, the Phoenix Suns drafted Gilliam as the No. 2 overall pick in the first round of the draft. Besides the Suns, Gilliam also played with the then-Charlotte Hornets, Philadelphia 76ers, New Jersey Nets, Milwaukee Bucks and Utah Jazz. He retired in 2000.

    “We are deeply saddened to learn about the loss of Armen Gilliam,” said Rod Thorn, president of the 76ers. “He was a hard-working, physical player during his distinguished 13 years in the NBA and we are proud of the contributions he made to the Sixers from 1990 to 1993.

    “On behalf of the entire Sixers organization, we send our deepest condolences to the Gilliam family during this very difficult time.”

    Nicknamed “The Hammer,” Gilliam was the leading scorer on the 1987 UNLV team coached by Jerry Tarkanian.

    In a statement released by UNLV, Tarkanian, who coached basketball there from 1973-1992, called him one of the best players the university ever had.

    “In my ratings, I had Larry Johnson No. 1 and Armen No. 2. He was such a great person. Everybody loved him and he loved everybody,” Tarkanian said. “He was such a gentle person and such a caring guy. I am all shook up over it. I think the world of him and am just really shocked.”

    Gilliam’s No. 35 UNLV jersey was retired during a halftime ceremony at the Thomas & Mack Center in November 2007. He became the eighth player in the program’s history to receive that honor.

    He played at UNLV from 1984-87 and was a key member of UNLV’s second NCAA Final Four team in 1987. That team finished the season with a 37-2 overall record and was 18-0 in Big West Conference play.

    Gilliam coached and played for the Pittsburgh Xplosion in the American Basketball Association in 2005 and 2006. He also coached Division III Penn State-Altoona from 2002-05.

    Born as Armon Louis Gilliam, he later changed the spelling of his first name to Armen to better suit the pronunciation of it.

    “On behalf of the entire Phoenix Suns family, I’d like to express our sadness at the news of the passing of Armen Gilliam and offer our condolences to his family,” Suns President Lon Babby said in a statement.

    “Armen will always have a place in Suns history as only the second No. 2 overall pick for the franchise, but the rugged, tough enforcer known as ‘The Hammer’ on the court will be remembered by his former teammates and our fans for his easy-going nature off the court.”

  17. #37
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2010


    Gilliam was also a member of the USA seniors NT that won the 1986 World championship in Madrid, edging the former USSR in the final game.

  18. #38


    Pictures of Armen Gilliam

  19. #39


    Here's a news item about Raymond Leon Robinson Jr, a 16-year old young man who died while playing basketball in Inman, Spartanburg County, South Carolina:

    Investigators are looking into the death of a Chapman High School football player who collapsed while playing basketball with friends. Spartanburg County Coroner's Office investigator Randy Bogan said Raymond Leon Robinson Jr., of Timberlake View Circle, Inman, collapsed about 7 p.m. after playing basketball at a home on East Main Street in Inman.

    A woman told a sheriff's deputy that she called 911 after Raymond collapsed. Although unconscious, he was breathing at first, but then stopped breathing. The woman conducted CPR on the teen until Spartanburg County EMS arrived.

    Raymond was taken to Spartanburg Regional Medical Center, where he later died, a Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office incident report said. An autopsy and toxicology test results are pending, Bogan said.

    Raymond, a rising senior, was a starting offensive lineman for the Chapman High Panthers, coach Kevin Farmer said. Raymond was very dedicated to the team, never missing practice or a workout, and always upbeat. “He was probably the most well-liked kid on the team,” Farmer said. “He brightened the room when he walked in.”

    Not only popular among his teammates, Raymond was well-liked by the rest of the student body and faculty and staff at Chapman High. “He was a great kid, one of my all-time favorite students,” Farmer said.

    Raymond's upbeat personality and spiritual side were evident on his Facebook page, where he posted things like, “Any human has the ability to be great,” “Think before u speak” and “Praise the Lord Jesus Christ.” He also recently posted that he couldn't wait until “those Friday nights this school year,” the nights high school football teams hit the field.

    Vince Bell, who volunteers with the Chapman High football team and whose son, C.J., is a classmate and teammate of Raymond's, said the teenager's friends, family, teammates and coaches are in shock right now. Raymond was always joking around, trying to make people laugh or smile.

    “He had a positive attitude and encouraged others,” Bell said. “His Christian walk, his life made an impact on those around him. He may be gone, but his spirit will live on, in the lives of those he touched.”
    Last edited by worldbasketball; 07-10-2011 at 04:06 PM.

  20. #40


    Basketball coach Neil Dougherty has died after collapsing while jogging in Indianapolis, the University of Kansas announced on July 8.

    According to, Dougherty, who worked at Kansas under Roy Williams from 1995 to 2002, could not be identified immediately because he had no identification with him when he collapsed. "He was only 50 years old," said Williams, who now coaches North Carolina. "You just never know."
    Dougherty, who leaves behind a wife and three children, coached TCU from 2002 to 2008 and compiled a record of 75-106. He most recently was working for iHoops, a joint venture between the NBA and NCAA to promote youth basketball.

    Dougherty also served as an assistant at Drake, Vanderbilt and South Carolina before joining Williams' staff in 1995.

    Last edited by worldbasketball; 07-10-2011 at 04:39 PM.

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