Former NBA and ABA player Luther “Ticky” Burden has passed away at age 62.
Burden played college basketball at the University of Utah. In 1974, he played for the United States men’s national basketball team in the FIBA World Championship where he averaged 20.2 points per game.
His 182 total points for the tournament were an American record that stood until NBA superstar Kevin Durant broke it with 205 points in 2010.
Burden died at Forsyth Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C., where he lived for years. Family friend Lut Williams said Burden had been battling a disease that compromised his immune system when he had a reaction to anesthesia prior to undergoing cataract surgery, according to a TimesUnion report.
Burden played one season in ABA for Virginia Squires and then two more seasons in the NBA, for the NY Knicks. In ABA Burden averaged 19.9 ppg, while in two seasons for the Knicks he averaged 5.5 ppg, appearing in total 63 games in two seasons.
Burden developed a bad knee that ended his pro career after one season with the Virginia Squires of the American Basketball Association and two more with the Knicks. He eventually had nine knee surgeries.
He had financial difficulties after making $200,000 with the Squires and signing a three-year, $300,000 contract with the Knicks.
He spent nearly two years at Auburn Correction Facility before a judge overturned his conviction on robbery charges in 1984. He was convicted in an $18,000 bank heist in Hempstead in 1980 but won his appeal because police failed to obtain a search warrant before they entered his home and found stolen money.
Burden said in a 2010 interview that he was set up by three other men who committed the robbery.
Following his basketball career, Burden became an active teacher of the game of basketball at local YMCAs for several years.
Burden had 10 children and settled in Winston-Salem, where he became very influential in the youth basketball scene. He worked at a local YMCA with future NBA star Chris Paul.
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