Earl Cureton, a famous and loved Detroit basketball player, dies suddenly at age 66.

Earl Cureton, a famous and loved Detroit basketball player, died suddenly at age 66.

Earl Cureton died suddenly early Sunday morning. He was a basketball star in high school and college in Detroit and was also a center for the Detroit Pistons and a community ambassador to feed the team. He was 66 years old.

Cureton, who was known as “The Twirl,” was a star for Detroit Finney beforehand he started playing college football at Robert Morris in 1976. He only played for one season at the school before moving back home.

He led the Titans, who were then called Detroit Mercy, to the NCAA tournament as a junior in 1979. The next year, he led the team with 20 points as well as 9.1 rebounds per game.

In 1979, the Philadelphia 76ers picked him in the third round of the draft. He joined the team the next year and played for them for three years before signing with the Detroit Pistons before the 1983–84 season.

He played professional basketball for 17 years, including a few years overseas. He retired at age 39, after the 1996–97 season with the Raptors of Toronto.

Details about how he died are still unknown. The Detroit News says Cureton passed out at home on Sunday morning. He had been working on the ESPN+ broadcast of Detroit Mercy’s game against Robert Morris University on Saturday.

Cureton was born and raised in the Detroit area. He played college basketball at Robert Morris as well as Detroit Mercy before the Philadelphia 76ers picked him in the third round during the 1979 NBA Draft.

Those were the three seasons he spent in the league. Before the 1983–84 season, he moved back to Detroit.

He played there for the next three years and helped get the team back in the playoffs after six years. After that, he moved around a lot for the rest of his career.

He had played for the Chicago Bulls, the Los Angeles Clippers, the Charlotte Hornets, the Houston Rockets, and the Toronto Raptors before he retired at the end of the 1996–97 season.

It was also his job to play professional baseball in Italy, France, Venezuela, Mexico, and Argentina.

Cureton played in the NBA for 12 years and averaged 5.4 points and 4.7 rebounds per game. Later, Cureton worked as an assistant coach for the Long Beach Jam and led them to an ABA title.

He then went back to Detroit to receive his degree from Detroit Mercy, where he played for head coach Dick Vitale, and become a community ambassador for the Pistons.

A statement from the Detroit Pistons said that Cureton died “unexpectedly” Sunday morning. For the past 10 years, he has been a community ambassador for the team. The team didn’t give any other information.

Tom Gores, owner of the Pistons, said, “Earl was a few of the kindest, most honest, as well as caring people I knew.”

“I was proud to be his friend because he was a loving father who cared deeply about his family.”

In sports, he was a champion, and in our community, he was a major figure. We’re very sad about his death.

Cureton, who is 6 feet 9 inches tall, started his college career at Robert Morris. He then moved to Detroit Mercy and played his last two seasons there under coach Dick Vitale.

On average, he had 20 points as well as 9.1 rebounds per game in 1979–80. He is in the school’s sports Hall for Fame.

“I am heartbroken,” Vitale told The Detroit News on Sunday in a text message. “He loved Detroit and was exceedingly proud of how hard he worked to get to the NBA.”

“And Earl continually was trying to inspire youngsters to chase their dreams.” Philadelphia picked him in the second round during the 1979 NBA draft. He was born in Detroit.

He played in 674 NBA games and averaged 5.4 points and 4.7 rebounds per game. The LA Clippers, Charlotte, Houston, Toronto, Philadelphia, and Detroit were some of the teams he played for.

When he played for the 76ers in 1982–83 and the Rockets in 1993–94, they both won games.

After he stopped playing, he became a coach in the NBA, the USBA, and the Continental Basketball Association. We will miss him a lot.

In the team’s release, former guard Isiah Thomas said, “He was a great teammate, a tough competitor, a champion, and a great person.”

Earl loved the people of Detroit very much and had always worked hard to improve the city he lived in.