NBASports

Former NBA rim-shattering dunker Darryl Dawkins dies

Former NBA player Darryl Dawkins died Thursday at the age of 58 from an apparent heart attack.

Dawkins died at a hospital in Allentown, Pennsylvania, according to the Lehigh County coroner’s office. An autopsy is scheduled for Friday.

The man known as “Chocolate Thunder” was famous  for his rim-rocking dunks and even forced the NBA to switch to breakaway rims and shatter-resistant backboards because of his force.

Dawkins played for four teams during his 14-year career, including the Philadelphia 76ers, New Jersey Nets, Utah Jazz and Detroit Pistons. He was drafted fifth overall by Philadelphia in 1975, making him the first player to make the jump directly from high school to the NBA. The 6-foot-11 center averaged 12 points and 6.1 rebounds during his NBA career.

After injuries plagued his later years in the NBA, Dawkins played in Italy and had a brief stint with the Harlem Globetrotters.

Dawkins is survived by his wife, Janice, and four children.

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