NBA legend and former Nets big man, Darryl Dawkins, passed away on Thursday at the age of 58 due to an apparent heart attack.

By Robby Sabo

Former NBA center Darryl Dawkins has passed away at the age of 58 on Thursday.

WFMZ-TV was the first to report the news about the longtime Philadelphia 76ers big man. It was later confirmed through a spokesperson from Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest by way of John Finger of CSNPhilly.com.

While initially the cause of death was unknown, it’s now being reported that a heart attack was the cause.

Dawkins, who also played five seasons with the New Jersey Nets, was noted as one of the first NBA players to come straight to the league from high school. Dubbed “Chocolate Thunder,” his thunderous dunks became a fan favorite in the late 1970s early 1980s.

He also, of course, is the man most associated with shattering backboards during play:

In 14 NBA seasons Dawkins averaged 12 points and 6.1 rebounds in 23.7 minutes per game.

Rest in peace Darryl.

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Founder of Elite Sports NY — Formerly of FanSided — Jets, Rangers, Knicks, Yankees, Mets, Giants — Former strong safety, point guard, and 400-meter hustler. Has interviewed the likes of Rob Dyrdek, Michael Waltrip, and Dominique Wilkins and has seen his work shared by major publications such as Bleacher Report, Sports Illustrated, Fox Sports, Yahoo Sports, and Yardbarker.

Born as a New York Sports Fan, something unexplainable in his blood that’ll never be shaken. Remembers the Kevin Maas days, the Yankees on MSG, the Bruce Coslet era, and the Spring of ’94.

E-Mail: robsabo10@elitesportsny.com