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26 Years Ago Today: Len Bias Dies

The 22-year-old UMd. basketball star overdosed on cocaine just two days after being drafted to the NBA.

Twenty-six years ago today—on June 19, 1986—University of Maryland basketball phenom Leonard Kevin "Len" Bias died of a cocaine overdose. He was 22.

A native of Landover, Maryland and graduate of , Bias set the college basketball world ablaze at UMd. He was twice named an All-American player and tallied a career 2,149 points, then a school record.

On June 17, 1986, Bias was selected as the second overall pick in the NBA Draft by the Boston Celtics. Just two days later, emergency responders were called to his dorm room when Bias was unresponsive after taking cocaine. He was transported to Leland Memorial Hospital in Riverdale and pronounced dead two hours later.

Bias' death triggered an outpouring of grief, controversy, and legal procedings surrounding both his overdose and the past conduct of the UMd. athletic program.

He is buried at Lincoln Memorial Cemetery.

For those who remember it, how did you react to Bias' death? Has your outlook changed in the past 26 years? Let us know in the comments.

dave ungrady June 21, 2012 at 12:27 AM
Read about Len's legacy from this book, Born Ready: The Mixed Legacy of Len Bias. For more info, go to daveungrady.com.

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