Michael Brooks, former National Player of the Year at La Salle, dead at 58

Michael Brooks, a former La Salle star who was the NABC National Player of the Year in 1980, died Monday in Switzerland after suffering a "massive stroke," according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.

He was 58 years old.

Brooks scored 2,628 points in his college career and was a consensus First Team All-American in 1980 along with Louisville's Darrell Griffith, Purdue's Joe Barry Carroll, Kentucky's Kyle Macy and DePaul's Mark Aguirre. Brooks, a 6-foot-7 forward, remains one of the top 30 scorers in NCAA history. The Clippers selected Brooks ninth overall -- or six spots behind Celtics legend Kevin McHale -- in the 1980 NBA Draft.

According to The Inquirer, Brooks had aplastic anemia -- a syndrome that attacks the bone marrow and immune system. He was reportedly hospitalized last week for a bone-marrow transplant, but his body rejected the transplant, his sister, Aleta Arthurs-Lee, told the paper. That caused Brooks to suffer a small stroke Sunday that led to a more severe stroke Monday.

Brooks played six seasons in the NBA.

He also played in the USBL and CBA, and in France and Switzerland.

"To me, he was a light," Arthurs-Lee told The Inquirer. "I was always very protective of him, and I always will be. He will be missed in our family, very missed."

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Gary Parrish is an award-winning college basketball columnist and television analyst for CBS Sports who also hosts the highest-rated afternoon drive radio show in Memphis, where he lives with his wife... Full Bio

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