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Two-Time NBA Champ Who Played for Dick Vitale in College Dies at 66


Two-time NBA champion and former University of Detroit standout Earl Cureton died Sunday morning at 66 years old. The cause of death is unknown. 

Cureton, who was born and raised in Detroit, helped lead his local college to a 1979 NCAA tournament berth before getting drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers in the third round of the ’79 NBA draft. He played for several teams throughout his professional career and won an NBA title with the 76ers in 1983 and the Houston Rockets in 1994. He retired at 39 in 1997 as a member of the Toronto Raptors

Up until the time of his death, he was an ambassador for the Pistons—a team he played for from 1983 to ’86. 

“The Detroit Pistons organization is deeply saddened by the passing of Earl Cureton, a person who meant so much to the organization as a colleague, former player, community ambassador and friend,” the team said in a release. “As tough a competitor as he was during his playing years on the court, he was equally kind-hearted, outgoing and impactful off it. He represented our franchise with great passion and truly enjoyed working to give back and improve the lives of Detroiters in the city he loved so much. We extend our heartfelt condolences to Earl’s family and countless friends and teammates during this most difficult time.”

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