Sixers’ legend Darryl Dawkins passes away aged 58

Darryl Dawkins, Philadelphia 76er and New Jersey Nets’ legend, has passed away at the age of 58, yesterday morning.

Dawkins was rushed to Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest on a medical emergency, and was pronounced dead at 11:19 a.m.

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His family confirmed the news in a statement with The Morning Call: “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.”

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He left behind his wife Janice, children Dara, Tabitha, Nicholas and Alexis, along with countless family, friends and fans.

Nicknamed “Chocolate Thunder” by Stevie Wonder, Dawkins was mostly known for his flamboyant style and ferocious dunks, for which he has shattered two backboards in a three week span in 1979.

After seven glorious seasons with the Sixers, Dawkins chose the Nets in 1982, but injuries prevented the 6-11 big man from performing fully. He then had stints with several clubs before eventually retiring in 2000.

Dawkins ultimately made the transition from a player to becoming a professional head coach with the Lehigh Valley’s Pennsylvania ValleyDawgs and the Lehigh Carbon Community College men’s basketball team.

Upon hearing the news, basketball luminaries past and present such Magic Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant, Allen Iverson, among others, expressed their grief via Twitter.

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