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[lvsun] Armon Gilliam dies of heart attack

Discussion in 'NBA Dish' started by tinman, Jul 6, 2011.

  1. tinman

    tinman Contributing Member
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    [​IMG]

    RIP.


    By Ray Brewer (contact), Ryan Greene (contact)

    Published Wednesday, July 6, 2011 | 9:49 a.m.

    Updated 49 minutes ago

    It's a sad day in the world of UNLV hoops, as Rebels legend Armon Gilliam has passed away.

    Gilliam, 47, was playing pick-up basketball at L.A. Fitness near his home in Bethel Park, Pa., in the Pittsburgh suburbs, on Tuesday night. He collapsed and was taken to a local hospital, then pronounced dead at 9:28 p.m. according to the Allegheny County coroner's office.

    Gilliam starred at Bethel Park High before heading to UNLV, where he was the seventh all-time leading scorer in Rebels history, tallying 1,855 points in a three-year career from 1984-87. He helped lead UNLV to the 1987 NCAA Final Four, and in the process set the program's single-season scoring record with 903 points — a record that still stands today and that no one has come close to since Larry Johnson scored 822 in the 1989-90 season.

    Gilliam was the No. 2 overall pick by the Phoenix Suns in the 1987 NBA draft, and played in the league from 1987-2000 with the Suns, Charlotte Hornets, Philadelphia 76ers, New Jersey Nets, Milwaukee Bucks and Utah Jazz.

    "I'm all shook up," legendary coach Jerry Tarkanian said while in tears this morning. "He was such a great person. He would take the shirt of his back for you."

    Tarkanian said he died of a heart attack.

    Gilliam was better at wrestling and football in his native Pittsburgh. Then assistant Mark Wartentein found him while recruiting Spoon James at the national JC tournament.

    "Mark called and said 'Coach, I think we have a real sleep,'" Tarkanian said. "We offered him a scholarship right then. We were the first and he accepted. He was a sleeper all right. He turned out being the second best player in school history behind Larry."

    A 6-foot-9 forward, Gilliam was known as "The Hammer" for his physical style of play.

    For more on this story, stay tuned to lasvegassun.com/rebels.
     
  2. Williamson

    Williamson JOSH CHRISTOPHER ONLY FAN
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    Very sad. So young and good lord - to die while exercising?
     
  3. DFWRocket

    DFWRocket Member

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    He was a class act - when he wasn't coaching his High School, he was overseas with an organization called

    http://www.sportspower.org

    they take a team to different (usually poorer) countries and play against the National team or a local college team, and then spend time talking to the fans afterwards about life, drugs, good choices, and depending on location, religion as well. He was a big Christian and a very nice guy.

    May he rest in peace.
     
  4. Dr of Dunk

    Dr of Dunk Clutch Crew

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    Armen was tough as hell (one of the few people who would stand up to Charles Barkley - they had issues with each other), but he had some hilarious quirks. If you want to read more about him, read Jayson Williams' book Loose Balls. Seriously one of the funniest non-fiction books I've read. There are several Armen Gilliam stories in there. I posted a thread about it here something like 10 years ago. There are storis of Armen hating people cussing to the point where he'd want to fight them. He wanted to fight Charles Shackleford once and took him into a room and said "only one of us is coming out of here" or something. Next thing you knew, the door flew open with Armen running out 100 mph screaming that Shackleford was crazy. Shackleford came out after him holding a 2 foot machete. LOL. I think Williams said that Gilliam was cheap as hell, too. He would live in a $500,000 condo and steal electricity from Jayson's condo using a long extension cord.
     
  5. tinman

    tinman Contributing Member
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    That book was a great read, he even talks about Maxwell!
     
  6. jsmee2000

    jsmee2000 Contributing Member

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  7. baller4life315

    baller4life315 Contributing Member

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    RIP to an awesome former player and incredibly nice person.

    I'll never forget the day he walked up to myself and two of my friends and asked if we wanted to play two-on-two pickup.

    Needless to say, trying to guard a 6'9" guy (even at age 42 or so) proved to be quite the task!

    Very sad we lost a great guy at such a young age. :(
     
  8. True Rocket

    True Rocket Member

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    RIP Armon Gilliam
     
  9. what

    what Member

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    Ummm, I think I'll pass on Jayson Williams Loose Balls.:eek:
     

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