Friday, September 22 2023
ESPN Longhorn Network announcer Lance Blanks
Lance Blanks served as the Phoenix Suns‘ general manager from 2010-13, and later returned to Texas to serve as an analyst with the Longhorn Network. (AP/Michael Thomas)

Former Texas star, NBA player and executive Lance Blanks died on Wednesday, the league announced on Thursday afternoon. He was 56.

His cause of death is still unknown.

“Lance was a light for all those who knew him,” NBA executive vice president Joe Dumars, who played with Banks in Detroit, said in a statement. “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. His legacy will be carried on, not only by his family, but by all those whose lives he touched for the better. You will be dearly missed, brother.”

Blanks transferred into Texas in 1988 after spending his first two college seasons at Virginia. With the Longhorns, Blanks averaged 20 points and five rebounds per game over two seasons before the Detroit Pistons took him with the No. 26 overall pick in 1990.

Blanks spent three years in the league, two with the Pistons and one with the Minnesota Timberwolves, before he played seven seasons internationally to round out his career.

He then spent time in several front offices, working both as a scout for the San Antonio Spurs and Los Angeles Clippers, an assistant general manager for the Cleveland Cavaliers and the general manager for the Phoenix Suns. Blanks spent three seasons running the Suns, but compiled a 98-132 record. Blanks also worked briefly as an ESPN analyst with the Longhorn Network.

Blanks, who helped lead Texas to the Elite Eight in 1990, was inducted into the Longhorns Hall of Honor in 2007.

“My dad was my person. He was my teacher, my idol, my best friend,” Riley Blanks Reed, one of Blanks’ two daughters, said in a statement. “The love I have for him is simply immeasurable. He carried his family and friends on his selfless shoulders and he was the wisest man I’ll ever know. The path ahead is dark without him but he once told me that he trusted my sister and me to carry the torch of our family’s legacy. And we will.”

Source: Yahoo Sports


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