Ex-NBA forward Dyron Nix dead at 46

dyron-nixFormer Tennessee basketball standout, former NBA and European player, Dyron Nix passed away on Dec. 15 in Atlanta. He was 46.

Former Nix teammate Clarence Swearengen confirmed the death through a member of the Nix family. Swearengen said Nix had gone to an Atlanta hospital complaining of breathing difficulty and died a short time later.

Nix starred for the Volunteers and head coach Don DeVoe from 1986-89 and was a two-time first-team All-SEC performer (1988, 1989). He ranks eighth on Tennessee’s all-time scoring list with 1,877 career points.

“It’s shocking and saddening news,” current UT head coach, also former NBA player Cuonzo Martin said. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to Dyron’s family and former teammates. This is a sad day for the Tennessee basketball family.”

Martin himself played two seasons in the NBA, for Vancouver Grizzlies and Milwaukee Bucks. He played a total of 7 games in the league, averaging 1.3 ppg in 4.6 mpg.

“I had gotten to know Dyron the past couple years – he actually was a part of our golf tournament back in September. Seeing him interact with his former Tennessee teammates, it’s clear how much they loved and respected him,” Martin said.

A native of Fort Walton Beach, Fla., Nix averaged 16.6 points and 8.4 rebounds in 113 games. He was the SEC scoring champion in 1988, averaging 22.2 points per game.

Nix averaged a double-double as a sophomore in 1987 (14.1 ppg, SEC-best 10.1 rpg). His 34 career double-doubles are the fourth-most in school history.

The 6-7, 210-pound forward posted eight 30-point games as a Vol and scored a career-high 40 points during a season-opening home win over Tennessee Tech on Nov. 25, 1988.

Also an outstanding shot-blocker, Nix swatted 142 shots during his UT career. That total ranks fourth on UT’s career list.

The Charlotte Hornets selected Nix in the second round of the 1989 NBA Draft, and he went on to play one season for the Indiana Pacers, averaging 2.0 ppg and 1.3 rpg in 5.5 mpg, appearing in 20 games for the team.

He also played multiple professional seasons overseas in France, CBA, Israel, Spain and Greece. In 2009, Nix was selected to the Tennessee Basketball All-Century Team.


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