Philadelphia 76ers legend Darryl Dawkins has passed away, according to 69 News in Pennsylvania. A source close to the big man confirmed this awful development to the station. Dawkins is survived by his wife, Janice, and their three children. He was 58 years old.
Known for being the first player ever drafted out of high school, “Chocolate Thunder” enjoyed 14 NBA seasons with the 76ers, New Jersey Nets, Utah Jazz, and Detroit Pistons from 1975-76 to 1988-89. He then played professionally overseas until 1994 before joining the Harlem Globetrotters for a year, and followed that up with one season as a member of the CBA’s Sioux Falls Skyforce. After a three-year hiatus from the game, Dawkins finished his long and industrious playing career with the IBA’s Winnipeg Cyclone at the age of 43.
Though he was never named to the All-Star Game nor won a championship, Dawkins remained a visible representative of the NBA until his untimely death. He was a frequent guest judge of dunk contests across all levels of the sport, using his track record of thunderous jams and engagingly flamboyant persona to serve as a living legend of basketball’s aerial theatrics.