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Former IU men's basketball player Eric Anderson dies


IU men's basketball plays the Iowa Hawkeyes in Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall on Dec. 4, 2017. Evan De Stefano Buy Photos

Former IU men's basketball player Eric Anderson has died at the age of 48.

Anderson's death was first reported by Matt Rodewald, a television anchor and reporter in Phoenix, early Monday morning on Twitter.

Later Monday, Anderson's death was confirmed in a news release from the IU men's basketball program. An IndyStar article stated preliminary autopsy results showed Anderson died of natural causes.

Anderson played at IU from 1988 to 1992, earning a degree in sociology.

He currently ranks 11th on IU's all-time scoring list with 1,715 points. He was a part of IU's Big Ten Championship teams in 1989 and 1991, as well as the 1992 team that reached the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament.

During that 1992 NCAA Tournament, Anderson was named the Most Outstanding Player in the NCAA West Regional.

He was the 1989 Big Ten Freshman of the Year after averaging 11.9 points and 6.1 rebounds in his first season as a Hoosier. The 1991 season also saw him be honored by the conference, as he was named a first-team All-Big Ten selection after averaging 13.7 points and 7.1 rebounds.

Prior to his time in Bloomington, Anderson played high school basketball at St. Francis de Sales High School in Chicago. He was named Mr. Basketball in Illinois in 1988 and was a McDonald's All-American during his high school career.

Following his college career, he signed with the NBA's New York Knicks as an undrafted free agent and played with the Knicks from 1992 to 1994.

Anderson also spent three seasons playing basketball overseas, and returned to Indiana for two separate spells with the Fort Wayne Fury of the Continental Basketball Association during the 1990s. 

Scott Dolson, IU's current deputy director of athletics, was a student manager for the basketball team during Anderson's playing career and was also a roommate of Anderson's. 

"Eric was an unbelievably talented basketball player but that paled in comparison to the type of friend and person he was," Dolson said in the release. "This is a very difficult day for all who were close to him and our heart goes out to his son, Sam, his family and all those who Eric touched throughout his tragically short life."

Several former IU coaches and players, including current Coach Archie Miller, have released statements or posted messages on social media Monday following the news of Anderson's death.

"Eric was an outstanding player for us, right from the start," former IU Coach Bob Knight said in an IU release. "A four-year starter who was instrumental on some excellent, championship teams and a good friend to all of those guys who played with him. It's tragic to hear of his passing."

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