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Texas Longhorns hoops legend and former NBA executive Lance Blanks died on Wednesday at the age of 56. No official cause of death has been given.
An honored Longhorn, Blanks’ college career kickstarted his impact in professional basketball, which lasted for decades. Playing at UT from 1988 to 1990 after transferring from Virginia, the 6-foot-4 guard helped propel the Longhorns all the way to the Elite Eight in his final season.
Blanks was inducted into the Longhorns Hall of Honor in 2007. He averaged 20.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.7 assists throughout his two seasons at Texas.
In 1990, Blanks was selected with the No. 26 pick by the Detroit Pistons. The Texas star didn’t shine as bright in the NBA, lasting only three seasons. He played an additional seven seasons overseas.
After his time spent with international teams, Blanks wanted a way back to the NBA. He reintegrated himself by forging a career through the front offices. He began working as a scout for the San Antonio Spurs in 2000 and joined the Cleveland Cavaliers as the assistant general manager in 2005.
Blanks eventually got his shot at running a front office. He joined the Phoenix Suns as their general manager in 2010, lasting until 2013.
NBA Executive Vice President Joe Dumars released a statement on basketball’s tragic loss.
“Lance was a light for all those who knew him,” said Dumars. “It’s been a privilege to have called him one of my closest friends. I’m eternally grateful for all the support he has shown me throughout the years.”
Rest in Peace
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