NBRPA Mourns the loss of Darryl Dawkins

August 28, 2015

The NBRPA extends condolences to the family of Darryl Dawkins, who passed away at age 58. Dawkins, affectionately known by fans and friends as "Chocolate Thunder," is survived by his wife Janice and children Dara, Tabitha, Nicholas and Alexis.

“The entire NBRPA family is saddened by the loss of Darryl Dawkins," said NBRPA Chairman of the Board Thurl Bailey. "I played briefly with Darryl in Utah toward the end of his career and was lucky enough to join him on a goodwill mission to visit United States military troops in Kosovo a few years ago. As strong and athletic as he was on the basketball court, Darryl made a bigger impact as a community ambassador and philanthropist off the court. His kind soul and big personality will be missed greatly and our prayers go out to Janice and his children.”

As a player, Dawkins was a supremely athletic big man who exploded on the NBA scene as the first-ever high school player selected in the first round of the draft. Dawkins spent parts of 14 seasons in the NBA with Philadelphia, New Jersey, Utah and Detroit. He averaged 12.0 points and 6.1 rebounds in 726 regular-season games. His 57.2 field goal percentage is seventh best in NBA history. Although best known for his backboard-shattering dunks, perhaps Dawkins'greatest impact on the game was his fun-loving personality and genuine kindness. In life after the game Dawkins frequently worked as a community ambassador for the NBRPA and NBA.

The Dawkins family released the following statement:

"It is with great sadness that we share the passing of our beloved husband and father, Darryl Dawkins, who succumbed today to a heart attack. Darryl touched the hearts and spirits of so many with his big smile and personality, ferocious dunks, but more than anything, his huge, loving heart. His family, wife Janice, children Dara, Tabitha, Nicholas and Alexis, along with countless family, friends, and fans, all mourn his loss. More than anything Darryl accomplished in his basketball career as the inimitable 'Chocolate Thunder,' he was most proud of his role and responsibility as a husband and father. We ask that the public please respect our privacy as we grieve his loss."

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver released the following statement regarding the passing of Darryl Dawkins:

"The NBA family is heartbroken by the sudden and tragic passing of Darryl Dawkins. We will always remember Darryl for his incredible talent, his infectious enthusiasm and his boundless generosity. He played the game with passion, integrity and joy, never forgetting how great an influence he had on his legions of fans, young and old. Darryl was beloved around the league and he will be deeply missed by his friends, family, teammates, and coaches, as well as the millions of fans who witnessed the high-flying brilliance of the one and only 'Chocolate Thunder.' Our thoughts and prayers are with Darryl's wife, Janice, and the entire Dawkins family during this difficult time."

In lieu of flowers, anyone desiring may make a donation to the Darryl Dawkins Children’s Scholarship Fund
c/o Nicholas Antonelli
6 Dutch Lane Road
Marlboro N.J. 07746

Public and private memorials will be held on Tuesday, September 1 and Wednesday, September 2 in Catasauqua, PA.