Yinka Dare, the New Jersey Nets’ first-round draft pick in 1994, died on Jan. 9 from a heart attack due to an arrhythmia condition. The 32-year-old athlete was preparing breakfast after his morning workout when he collapsed.
Named Freshman of the Year by Sports Illustrated for 1992-93, the 7-foot, 265-pound Nigerian center led the George Washington Colonials to consecutive NCAA tournament appearances under coach Mike Jarvis.
Dare’s rookie campaign in the NBA, however, was a disappointment. He started 1994 on the injured list, played one game, and went back on the list when he underwent surgery to his knees. During his four seasons with the Nets, Dare played 110 games, and averaged only 2.1 points and 2.6 rebounds.