Former NBA Player Armen Gilliam Collapses, Dies at 47 in Basketball Game

Armen Gilliam, who played 13 National Basketball Association seasons and in college for the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, died last night at the age of 47.

Gilliam collapsed while playing basketball at a gym in Bridgeville, Pennsylvania, and was transported to St. Clair Hospital in Pittsburgh before being pronounced dead, the Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s Office said.

An autopsy had yet to be completed.

Gilliam was the second overall pick in the 1987 NBA draft, behind David Robinson, by the Phoenix Suns. He also played for the Charlotte Hornets, Philadelphia 76ers, New Jersey Nets, Milwaukee Bucks and Utah Jazz, finishing his career with 12,700 points and 6,401 rebounds.

“Armen was a true professional who carried himself with class and dignity both on and off the court,” the Nets said in a statement posted on their website.

Gilliam had his No. 35 jersey retired by UNLV in 2007. He was a member of the Runnin’ Rebels squad that reached the Final Four in 1987, finishing with a 37-2 record.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mason Levinson in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at

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