Former 76ers Star Darryl Dawkins Passes Away at 58
Former 76ers center Darryl Dawkins has passed away, according to WFMZ.
A cause of death was not immediately revealed and an autopsy was scheduled for Friday morning to determine the cause and manner of death.
Dawkins was pronounced dead at 11:19 a.m.on Thursday morning at Lehigh Valley Hospital in Salisbury Township, PA.
Dawkins made his home in Lehigh Valley and most recently coached a community college men's basketball team in the area.
Nicknamed, "Chocolate Thunder," Dawkins made history when he was the first high school player drafted to the NBA 1975. He played 15 seasons in the NBA, most of the, with the Philadelphia 76ers. Dawkins also made headlines by breaking backboards with his thunderous dunks during NBA games multiple times in his career.
Following his NBA career, Dawkins continued to work in partnership with the 76ers as an ambassador of sorts making various appearances at team events, including The Beach Bash in Avalon.
The Sixers did not immediately comment on the passing of Dawkins, but in a cryptic tweet before his death was reported the team posted a GIF of Dawkins dunking calling it #ThrowdownThursday.
The team did release a statement from CEO Scott O'Neil on his passing:
“The Sixers family is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of an absolute legend, Darryl Dawkins. We’ve lost a dear friend and an iconic figure, both on and off the court. We remember fondly not only his thunderous dunks, but more importantly his powerful presence and personality. Simply put, Darryl Dawkins was beloved—by his family, friends, former teammates and his fans all over the globe. His endearing charm, infectious smile and unparalleled sense of humor will be sorely missed. ‘Chocolate Thunder’ will always have a special place in our hearts. His family is in our thoughts and prayers.”
The team also called him "one of a kind."
Dawkins was 58.