Earl Cureton, former Pistons participant and neighborhood ambassador with the group for the final 10 years, handed away unexpectedly this morning on the age of 66.
A 12-year NBA veteran, Cureton was initially drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers with the 58th general decide within the 1979 NBA Draft. Generally known as “The Twirl”, the 6-9 ahead was part of two NBA championships groups, the 76ers in 1982-83 and the Houston Rockets in 1993-94. Cureton additionally performed three seasons with the Detroit Pistons (1983-86, the place he averaged 5.9 factors in 234 video games) and hung out with the Chicago Bulls, LA Clippers, Charlotte Hornets and Toronto Raptors.
A basketball journeyman, Cureton made teaching stops within the NBA, United States Basketball League and Continental Basketball Affiliation following his retirement from the NBA in 1997. He was additionally an assistant coach with the ABA’s Lengthy Seashore Jam in 2004, alongside teaching legend Paul Westhead. When Westhead left to change into an assistant for the Orlando Magic, Cureton took over as head coach and led the Jam to an ABA Championship.
Cureton performed collegiately at Division I Robert Morris College earlier than transferring to College of Detroit Mercy for his ultimate two seasons underneath head coach Dick Vitale. His quantity 24 was retired by U of D on Jan. 23, 2020. Fulfilling a life-long dream 30 years later, Cureton went again to U of D and earned his school diploma in Human Providers and was awarded his Bachelor of Science in 2011. A local Detroiter, Cureton prepped at Finney Excessive Faculty.
Assertion from the Detroit Pistons Group: “The Detroit Pistons group is deeply saddened by the passing of Earl Cureton, an individual who meant a lot to the group as a colleague, former participant, neighborhood ambassador and good friend. As robust a competitor as he was throughout his enjoying years on the courtroom, he was equally kind-hearted, outgoing and impactful off it. He represented our franchise with nice ardour and really loved working to provide again and enhance the lives of Detroiters within the metropolis he beloved a lot. We lengthen our heartfelt condolences to Earl’s household and numerous pals and teammates throughout this most troublesome time.”
Assertion from Pistons Proprietor Tom Gores: “Earl was one of the beneficiant, optimistic and caring individuals I knew. He was a loving father, dedicated to his household, and I used to be honored to be his good friend. He was a champion as a participant and an vital ambassador in our neighborhood. We’re heartbroken over his loss.”
Former Pistons participant and Corridor of Famer Isiah Thomas: “All of us are hurting with the sudden lack of Earl Cureton. He was an amazing teammate, robust competitor, a champion and a fantastic human being. Earl all the time held the Detroit neighborhood near his coronary heart and labored tirelessly to make a distinction for town he beloved. He will probably be drastically missed.”