Former New York Knicks and Atlanta Hawks player Dean “the Dream” Meminger was found dead at Casablanca Hotel in Upper Manhattan, New York on Friday, Aug. 23, 2013. Growing up in New York City, he was a star player in high school. After an unbelievable career at MU, he was a first round draft pick by the Knickerbockers in 1971. Meminger is one of only four players, Dwyane Wade included, from Marquette University to be drafted during the first round. His college jersey, No. 14, is now retired.
Meminger battled an alcohol and cocaine addiction for years, which led to his departure from the NBA. In November 2009, he set himself and his Bronx apartment on fire, sparked by a crack cocaine pipe. The four-alarm blaze was so out of control, it required 200 fireman and displaced a number of families. He was in critical condition, suffering from burns and smoke inhalation.
On Friday, he was found unconscious by hotel staff and pronounced dead by emergency medical personnel. He was wearing his 1973 NBA championship ring.
His family issued a statement to press praising him for his commitment to the sport and education, he “helped countless people around the country receive scholarships, high school and college admissions, and even employment.”