“Chocolate Thunder” Darryl Dawkins passes away

NBA dunk pioneer Darryl Dawkins has passed away at the age of 58.

Also known as “Chocolate Thunder,” the 6’11” center died of a heart attack.

Best known for stints with the Philadelphia 76ers, New Jersey Nets, and the Harlem Globetrotters, Dawkins actually was in the country last year, as part of the contingent to announce a new multi-year deal between the Association and local broadcast partners ABS-CBN and Solar Entertainment.

Here is the family’s official statement:

“It is with great sadness that we share the passing of our beloved husband and father, Darryl Dawkins, who succumbed today to a heart attack. Darryl touched the hearts and spirits of so many with his big smile and personality, ferocious dunks, but more than anything, his huge, loving heart. His family, wife Janice, children Dara, Tabitha, Nicholas and Alexis, along with countless family, friends, and fans, all mourn his loss. More than anything Darryl accomplished in his basketball career as the inimitable ‘Chocolate Thunder,’ he was most proud of his role and responsibility as a husband and father. We ask that the public please respect our privacy as we grieve his loss.”

And here is the NBA’s official statement:

“The NBA family is heartbroken by the sudden and tragic passing of Darryl Dawkins. We will always remember Darryl for his incredible talent, his infectious enthusiasm and his boundless generosity. He played the game with passion, integrity and joy, never forgetting how great an influence he had on his legions of fans, young and old. Darryl was beloved around the league and he will be deeply missed by his friends, family, teammates, and coaches, as well as the millions of fans who witnessed the high-flying brilliance of the one and only ‘Chocolate Thunder.’ Our thoughts and prayers are with Darryl’s wife, Janice, and the entire Dawkins family during this difficult time.”

Rest in peace good sir.

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