Former Trail Blazers big man Cliff Robinson, better known to Rip City as Uncle Cliffy, died Saturday, his family announced.
He was 53 years old.
The 6-foot-10 big man played at UConn from 1985-89, where he helped the Huskies win the 1988 NIT. He was a second-round pick (36th overall) by the Trail Blazers in 1989 and spent the first eight years of his career in Portland. Uncle Cliffy helped the franchise reach the NBA Finals in 1990 and 1992 and was the 1993 NBA 6th Man of the Year. In 1994, while with the Trail Blazers, he made his first and only All-Star Game.
From 1989-97, Robinson averaged 16.2 points per game; and totaled 3,352 rebounds and 1,350 assists while in a Trail Blazers uniform.
After leaving Portland, Robinson went on to play four seasons with the Phoenix Suns; two seasons with the Detroit Pistons; three seasons with the New Jersey Nets; and two seasons with the Golden State Warriors.
In March of 2017, Robinson suffered a minor stroke and was hospitalized.
According to Dave Borges, who covers UCONN, Robinson was recently in a coma.
Now, the sports world begins to mourn the loss of Robinson.
He was our first great player... he came from a difficult background in Buffalo, I watched him evolve as a man ... he was a good man, had a great career, and was instrumental in a lot of the great things that happened at UConn. -- Jim Calhoun
Robinson spent a total of 18 seasons in the league and will continue to be known for his trademark headband in Rip City.
Rest In Peace Uncle Cliffy.