Former NBA star Darryl Dawkins has died at age 58.
The Lehigh County coroner’s office confirmed the news to WFMZ-TV (Lehigh Valley, Pa.). No cause of death has been reported.
A 6’11” center, Dawkins famously earned the nickname “Chocolate Thunder” during his playing days for his high-flying, powerful dunks. He famously broke two backboards in 1979, one with with a slam he dubbed the “The Chocolate-Thunder-Flying, Robinzine-Crying, Teeth-Shaking, Glass-Breaking, Rump-Roasting, Bun-Toasting, Wham-Bam, Glass-Breaker-I-Am-Jam.
A native of Orlando, Dawkins was the first player ever drafted straight to the NBA out of high school when he was selected by Philadelphia with the fifth pick of the 1975 draft. He appeared in three NBA Finals with the Sixers. In 14 NBA seasons, Dawkins averaged 12 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game. His final seasons were plagued by injury.