Former NBA guard dead at 45

brooks-thompsonFormer NBA guard Brooks Thompson has died at age 45, said the NBA’s official website.

Thompson was a first-round NBA draft pick and former Texas-San Antonio men’s basketball coach.

Thompson was reportedly diagnosed with double organ failure in April and was hospitalized with a blood infection, said the message on the Orlando Magic website.

Thompson reportedly died June 9, and had been ill in recent months.

“He was an excellent shooter and very knowledgeable,” Richie Adubato, who coached Thompson as an assistant in Orlando, said. “He was instant offense for us. We would run screens for him. Great attitude. Really understood the game. He was a great person.”

Former Orlando Magic forward and Thompson’s teammate Jeff Turner said that Thompson was great to play with.

“We had a lot of great conversations about the league. He worked hard. He would always do things for Shaq (Shaquille O’Neal), Horace (Grant) and the guys. Great spirit about him,” Turner said.

One of those, who publicly paid tribute to Thompson, was Steve Kerr, who played against Thompson when the Bulls faced off the Magic in 1995.

“I just want to give my condolences to his family,” Kerr said. “I just cannot believe the year it’s been for the NBA and for so many people in the NBA who have lost loved ones.”

Thompson played four seasons in the NBA, for Orlando Magic, Utah Jazz, Denver Nuggets, Phoenix Suns and NY Knicks. He appeared in 169 NBA regular season games (started8), averaging 4.5 ppg in 10.2 mpg.

Following his NBA career, Thompson returned to Oklahoma State as an assistant coach on Eddie Sutton’s staff for the 1998-99 and 2001-02 seasons. He later served two seasons on Rob Evans’ staff at Arizona State before taking over the UTSA program.

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