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NBA legend Daryl Dawkins passes away

buzzz worthy. . .

Daryl Dawkins 1957-2015
Daryl Dawkins was shattering back boards of basketball goals around the time Shaquille O'Neal would have been riding a tricycle.  In fact, Dawkins was the first to ever do it.  Sadly, the giant among athletes has passed away.   The 6 foot 11 inch tall NBA legend  died of a heart attack at  a hospital in Allentown Pennsylvania Thursday (8/27/2015) morning, leaving behind his wife and four children.

Over his 14 season career starting with the Philadelphia 76ers in 1975, Dawkins also played in  New Jersey, Utah and Detroit. AP reports he was the first player to be drafted by the NBA in the first round coming out of high school. Dawkins was given the nick name "Chocolate Thunder" by Stevie Wonder who could not see him, but heard the glass shatter from Dawkins’ back- board -breaking slam dunks.  He was considered a true legend among basketball greats.
Daryl Dawkins shatters backboard during a slam dunk.

Dawkins was 58.

The Dawkins family released the following statement on the passing of Daryl Dawkins:

"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."

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver released the following statement regarding the passing of Darryl Dawkins: 

"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."

Philadelphia 76ers Chief Executive Officer Scott O'Neil Statement On The Passing Of Darryl Dawkins:

“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.”

And from the Brroklyn Nets, with whom Dawkins played 5 years, the following statement was released: 

"The entire Brooklyn Nets organization is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of legendary player Darryl Dawkins. As a member of the Nets in the 1980’s, Darryl, known as Chocolate Thunder, entertained fans on the court with his powerful dunks and effervescent personality, and also made an enormous impact in the community. Following his playing career, Darryl remained a part of the Nets and NBA family by serving as an ambassador and sharing his love of the game with countless fans. He had an amazing personality and touched everyone in a positive way. Our heartfelt condolences go out to the Dawkins family and to all those who had the pleasure of knowing Darryl. He will be deeply missed."