Len Bias

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Tevin Hurd - May 10, 2011

On June 19, 1986, the Boston Celtics’ No. 2 overall first round draft pick out of the University of Maryland was found unconscious on the floor of his dorm room. Two hours later he was pronounced dead of cardiac arrest. His name was Len Bias. He was 22 years old. Bias was an all-American basketball player for the Terps just finishing up his senior season. According to those who have ever seen him play (myself included) he was a phenomenal athlete. According to those who knew him personally he was an even better person. Bias’ premature death is somewhat controversial because traces of cocaine were found in his urine during an autopsy. Physicians claim that a 22-year-old in top physical shape having a heart attack could be attributed to cocaine, a heart ailment that exams might have missed, or the combination of the two. According to the Boston Celtics training staff, Bias passed a physical on May 27th, only three weeks prior to his death. Included with the physical was a urinalysis drug test that Bias passed with no signs of a heart problem or previous drug usage.

Article, Washington Post : http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/sports/longterm/memories/bias/launch/bias1.htm

It was later reported in other articles that Len Bias had indeed died of a heart attack induced by cocaine. This story has always troubled me ever since I was a teenager and first came across the tragedy. In one day all of one man’s dreams came true, and in one night all those dreams came spiraling down with a silent crash. I think about his friends with whom he spent his last hours with, and the nightmares that must have followed after helplessly watching their friend die at their feet. I think about his family who lost so much good fortune and, more importantly, a nephew, a cousin, a brother, and a son. I also think about the game of basketball. It lost a great player that day. Some believe he was going to be it’s greatest...
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