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Heart attack claims life of former Clemson player Devin Gray


Clemson University

On Saturday it was learned that former Clemson basketball player Devin Gray passed away after suffering a heart attack in Atlanta, Ga. Gray, who grew up in Baltimore, was just 41 years old.

In four seasons as a Tiger Gray, who was Baltimore Catholic League Player of the Year in 1991, scored 1,322 points and is still ranked in the top 20 in program history in both points (18th) and scoring average (14th; 14.1 ppg). Gray was a third team All-ACC selection in 1993-94 after leading the league in field goal percentage and averaging 14.4 points per game.

It was shortly after that season that Gray would experience heart issues, suffering a heart attack on the same night as the 1994 national title game between Arkansas and Duke.

Gray had suffered a heart attack while a student at Clemson on April 4, 1994, the night of the NCAA Championship game between Arkansas and Duke. Tests at the time showed that Gray’s heart attack was the result of excessive coagulation of the blood. He was put on medication and returned to the Clemson team for his senior year. He went on to play two years in the NBA, the 1996-97 season with Sacramento and San Antonio, and the 1999-00 season with Houston.

A native of Baltimore, MD, Gray came to Clemson out of St. Francis High School in 1991. He was part of the only recruiting class in Clemson history to produce three NBA players, as Sharone Wright and Chris Whitney were also part of that class.

According to the Baltimore Sun, Gray complained of chest pains Saturday afternoon after playing basketball in the morning. His cousin Zeke Marshall, who won Baltimore Catholic League Player of the Year honors in 1990 and attended Cornell, was quoted as saying that Gray served as an inspirational figure to other Baltimore natives hoping to take the next step on the basketball court.

“Devin showed that a kid that people might think couldn’t make it to college could do it,” Marshall told the Sun. “He gave hope to Baltimore players that they could do it. We were fortunate in trying to make it out of the inner city. And he went out like any soldier would want to, doing what they do best.”

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