July 8, 2018 / 10:39 PM / 4 months ago

Former NBA player Rozier dead at 45 after heart attack

1997 file photo: San Antonio Spurs' Carl Herrera wears an eye guard while fighting for position with Toronto Raptor's Clifford Rozier during first half NBA action at the Skydome in Toronto March 7. San Antonio beat Toronto 106-103.

Former NBA center Clifford Rozier has died at age 45 after suffering a heart attack earlier in the week, his brother said.

Rozier died Friday in his hometown of Bradenton, Fla., where he starred in high school before playing collegiately at North Carolina and Louisville. The Golden State Warriors selected him in the first round (No. 16 overall) of the 1994 NBA Draft.

Injuries and inconsistency limited Rozier’s NBA career to four seasons. The 6-foot-11, 245-pounder averaged 4.8 points and 5.2 rebounds in 173 games (64 starts) with the Warriors, Toronto Raptors and Minnesota Timberwolves from 1994 to 1998.

Kobie Rozier, Clifford’s brother, announced the death in a Facebook post.

“For the last few days my brother big Cliff been fighting for his life after having a heart attack,” Kobie Rozier wrote. “Today he lost his fight. Rest easy big bro and I’ll see you again one day.”

At Louisville, Rozier led the team to back-to-back appearances in the Sweet 16. He was named as a consensus first-team All-American in 1993-94 along with Jason Kidd (Cal), Grant Hill (Duke), Donyell Marshall (Connecticut) and Glenn Robinson (Purdue).

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