Len Bias would have turned 50 on Nov. 18 (PHOTOS)

Len Bias would have turned 50 on Nov. 18 (PHOTOS)
November 18, 2013, 12:00 pm
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Author Dave Ungrady discusses his new book about Len Bias

His death shook not only the University of Maryland, but the college basketball world, the NBA, and the nation. It spurred the passage of new national drug laws. It devastated a family and nearly brought down an entire basketball program.

Len Bias died of cocaine intoxication on June 19, 1986 at the age of 22. On Nov. 18, 2013, he would have turned 50 years old.

In his time, Bias was considered one of the premiere players in college basketball. Some believe he and North Carolina star Michael Jordan were No. 1 and No. 1a as the best players in the then-talent rich ACC of the 1980s.

He averaged 16.4 points and 5.7 rebounds over his four-year career at Maryland, including a monster senior season when he posted 23.2 points and 7.0 rebounds per game.

He was drafted No. 2 overall by the Boston Celtics in the 1986 NBA Draft and passed away two days later.

Below is a collection of photos during Bias' time at Maryland and on draft night, along with scenes from his funeral and a tribute ceremony held by the Boston Celtics.

[RELATED: Author Dave Ungrady talks about his new Len Bias book, 'Born Ready']


Bias dunking during a Maryland practice at Cole Field House in College Park. (AP)

Bias, pictured in a Maryland uniform. Picture is undated (AP)

Len Bias of Maryland (34) leaps up slap the ball away from Mark Alarie of Duke who was trying for a basket on the play. (AP, 1985)

Bias, front row and second from the right, poses with other members of the 1986 NBA Draft (AP)

Bias seated next to the Boston Celtics' draft card on the night he was selected. (AP)

Friends of the Bias carry his casket from the university chapel following a private funeral in College Park, Md., June 23, 1986. (AP)

Boston Celtics' president Arnold "Red" Auerbach, right, presents a team jersey to Len Bias' father James Bias during a tribute to the late basketball star at College Park, June 24, 1986. (AP)

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