January 11, 2004 by

Yinka Dare


Categories: Sports

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.

82 Responses to Yinka Dare

  1. Toyin Ijishakin

    You were such a joy to be around never expecting
    too much from people always supportive and loving.
    I will never forget how protective you were.
    Always giving.
    Toyin Ijishakin

  2. Bolaji Arigbede

    I was checking out another topic about Nigeria when I came across your name and I decided to check out how you’re doing.
    To say the least I was suprised to read that you were no longer with us. I grew up with you in Nigeria, you attended Federal Government College, Kano, with my cousin brother Sunday Arigbede (AKA Kolos) and your brother Micheal Dare. We met twice at St. Thomas and we had a nice time together, and I was shock to read about your death.
    Dear brother, may your soul rest in perfect peace and may your parents find peace in Christ as they pass through this trying time. My family and I extend our sincere sympathy.

  3. olorunfemi Dare

    i read with rude shock your death,iAM a son to your father’s senIOR brother DELE DARE and stayed with your parents in kano while serving.
    may your gentle soul rest in peace.may GOD give your parents the fortitude to bear this loss
    rest in the bossom of JESUS CHRIST amen.

  4. Charisse Armistead

    When I heard, I didn’t believe but looking at this site I have no choice but to. You were a delight. Thanks for that. Rest in peace sugar pie.

  5. chimaoge vincent-eloagu

    Its a huge shock and really sad,you went much too soon. I pray the good lord gives your family the strength and fortitude to bear this loss.Speaking as some one who knew you ,I followed your phenomenal rise with both suprise and delight cause back home in kano, we all did’nt know you had all this in you.I had hoped to continue to follow your success.
    farewell Yinka, God bless your soul.

  6. Chief Sahib Lanre Hassan

    I am shocked to be reading this just now at the beginning of 2004 Basketbal season. I remmbered your name and quiet demeanor when you joined the league. I just logged on to see where you are in your career only to discover that you had preceded us in death. You have left a legacy of a quiet one. Thank you for being another positive Nigerian. You will alway be a star in our memory. Ma jokunrun ma je ekolo. Oun ti won ba nje lajule orun ni ki o ma ba won je. O di gbere. O di arinako. O di oju ala. Ki edumare ba wa sho gbogbo ebi re o.

  7. Gboyega Adekoya "GBOSCO"

    This a shock to me on this hot Thursday afternoon in November 04. Just searching yahoo for you brother’s contact who I last saw in UNILAG 1997 being class mate for the 4 years. This is a great loss and I pray the almighty Lord grant your family the fortitude to bear the loss of great son and brother. Michael back then was so fond of you, talks about you whenever he has the chance to updating us about your great works and situation back then 94 – 97.
    Rest in peace dear one.

  8. kari

    It’s Kari, rememebr from Kano…. Life is too short! We lost contact for so long… I just got in touch with Toyin 2 days ago and found out that you are dead!!!
    Still missing you.
    rest in peace

  9. Eugene Giles

    I was very shocked to find out yesterday of Yinka death on ESPN May God bless your soul and be with your family in its time of grief. R.I.P GENTALY GAINT YOU WILL BE MISSED

  10. Dave DeBerry

    Hey you will be missed a pretty stand up guy ,we met at a party in New York City ,It just goes to show time is promised to no man or anybody so live each day like its your last….I know I will be from now on GOD BLESS YOU AND YOUR FAMILY

  11. Yemi Taiwo

    I was at the airport in Atlanta when I picked up a sports magazine and saw the picture of Yinka Dare. At first I thought the name sounded familiar, then I remembered that my basketball loving friends used to talk a lot about him being in the NBA. I proceeded to read the article when I realized it was more or less a remembrance of sport figures that dies in 2004. I was shocked. Though I didn’t know him personally, reading these posts let me know he was a great guy. Rest In Peace bro. May the good Lord take you in his arms.

  12. lekan adesanya (Namo)

    how life could be so cruel, when you feel you have worked so hard and you want to just help and enjoy yourself and, suddenly there is a bang at the door telling you, its over and done with.
    adieu, yinka.
    cause you will be missed forever for all the good things you have done 4ur self and the country NIGERIA
    Namo, still trying to locate my dear friend, ur brother, Mike Dare- mike please if you come across this mail me back

  13. Sharond Ragin

    It took me this long to even be able to write something, anything about my best friend Yinka Dare. From 1995 till your untimely death we hung together like brothers. Words will never be enough to express the way I feel now that your gone, but as long as I except the breath of life I will make sure you are not forgotten. My first book, you helped guide me with wisdom and confidence. I dedicated that book to you my friend.

  14. Steve

    I was watching Goerge Washington in the tournament against Georgia Tech, and I thought of you. I enjoyed watching you play and was impressed with your ability. May God rest your soul and you are in my prayers tonight.

  15. kenn

    bless you yinka, rest in peace. you were a kind big man with a big heart and soul and gave your best as a nets player, basketball player, and person. nice to have seen you play as a nets fan

  16. Brett McGrath

    You are greatly missed by all, and I will always remember you being that towering force for Geroge Washington. You were a great man.

  17. Chucks H. Ekwensi

    It is hard to believe that you are gone.We were classmates at Dabo Primary School Kano and i remember your mum bringing us food.We parted ways when you went to F.G.C Kano while i went to Kano Capital Junior Sec.School but we still found time to hang out and play tennis at Kano Club.I remember you always along side with Michael your older brother.
    I visited your home at Bumpai Kano to get information about contact but was never lucky to find anyone.I’ll like to hear from Michael if possible.May God give you all the power to bare the loss.We will and are surely missing you.Rest in perfect peace my friend.
    Chucks H.Ekwensi

  18. Toba Bolaji

    Hi Yinka,
    You might not know me but i’m your cousin. I never got to meet you. My dad is your uncle, Dapo Bolaji. When I found out you had passed away I was sad because I really wanted to meet you. I’ve always wanted to play in the NBA and now seeing what you did gave me hope. We will all surely miss you.
    Toba Bolaji

  19. Cavon

    I hope someone in your family still reads these. No I did not know Yinka personally, but I do speak as if he is still with us because he is in the hearts of those who love him. Therefore, I speak to your hearts. Honestly, I only remember watching a couple of games Yinka had at GWU, but I liked what I saw. I downloaded a couple of video clips which features Yinka’s name, but it struck me as strange as to why he was never featured on them. Then I was just watching one and I saw that it also had his email address. So I added it to my contacts. Then I had a feeling that he had passed on, but I quickly denied it….Then I decided to search for him on Google…..That’s how I came across this site………To say the least, it saddened me….To the Dare Family: Jesus knows and has taken your grief. I will not lie and say that I know what you are going through or I know your pain, but Jesus does. Go through your grieving process, if that it still the case, and if you still cry…..By all means…..Do what you have to….All the while calling on the Father…..

  20. Olumide dare

    Uncle Yinka,
    Even though I barely knew you, i feel the pain inside as if I were your child. We’ve never met and i’m sure you din’t know me, but my father, Gbolahan T. Dare, says were related to you. I wish i could’ve got to know you. It would be fun to have a NBA player in the family. I dream of some day becoming a famous basketball player. Well, i wish long life and prosperity for your family.
    Olumide Dare

  21. Bose Babatunde

    i cant believe you are gone. It has taken me this long to find out and it saddens me greatly. I went to FGC kano and was Michael’s mate. I do not even know what to say but i pray that the family will have the heart to bear this great loss. Rest in peace. If Michael gets to see this please contact me.

  22. Emmanuel Uche-Abba

    This is a great shock to me. I pray God gives the DARE family the strength to bear the loss.
    Michael, Yinka lives……in our mind.

  23. Patrick Obi

    I was enjoying George Washington University’s rise back to prominence in college basketball and decided to check on the whereabouts of my favorite GW player, Yinka Dare.
    It is with great sorrow and sadness as I read of his loss. I can’t believe that it has been over two years since his passing and I had no idea. Life is too short.
    He was such a gentleman and humble human being. It was unfortunate that he left school early. One more season at GW would have greatly helped make him a better professional player. He mainly left to pursue his dream of playing in the NBA, but most importantly to help his family.
    Yinka, may your humble soul continue to rest in perfect peace.

  24. Kunle George Adedipe

    I went to the Federal Government College, Kano just like Yinka Dare and his older brother Michael Dare who was also my room mate at a point in time in school.
    I remember Yinka as that tall, basket ball playing guy who had to bend his head in order to go thru the door way. Then in 1991, he left for the United States and I followed his games while he was at George Washington University.
    I noticed that there wasn’t much info on Yinka in the media lately, so I did some googling yesterday and finally found out Yinka had passed on. I have accepted that reality, and that is why I am paying this tribute.
    To Michael (who I remember was a stong muscular young man while we were in secondary school), and the rest of the Dare family in Nigeria and abroad, your son/brother/cousin/nephew lived a life of service and has proceeded to higher spiritual activity. It feels good that we all were in one way or the other touched by him.

  25. Shalin

    It was a pleasure watching you take the Colonials to the Sweet 16 with GW. After seeing you play, I became interested in College Basketball. Currently, a student at GW… I still remember you.

  26. Rotimi leigh "aka" manlong

    It really saddens my heart to hear of Yinka Dares death after so many years of is death. He was my basketball idol, i always talk about him to my friends. About how tall he was and that he played in the NBA, to a point that my friends gave me the nickname “Yinka Dare”. I will sure miss you a great deal. Rest in peace my brother. Your school mate in FGC Kano

  27. Uzoma Aliche (meanest australia)

    I really never knew why his mates called him that name. In F.G.C. Kano, yinka was 2 sets ahead of me, he was in Watari house, while Micheal, was 3 sets ahead, he was my house mate Rima House & a good sprinter too, that was when FGCK used to dominate the FEDGOCOL games. Yinka made us hold our heads up high when we heard he went to the states and started playing for the nets,but in death you have made us even prouder, but I pray the good Lord gives your family the gratitude to bare this loss.

  28. Victor Wifa

    Dear Yinka,
    may God be with you where ever you are and give your parents the mind to move on.you were so young when i left F.G.C Kano in 1988.

  29. johnson dare

    u were great ur life was a life of luv & affection even when we dont have nobody knew b’cos of d unity & luv. every body, me, christine & her kids, mike, mum & dad wishes u well in the land of great beyond. ur big bro johnson.

  30. Gregory

    From a fellow GWU alumnus:
    Yinka I followed your collegiate career at GWU and what a career it was! You were the one who put coach Mike Jarvis and the GWU Colonials’s basketball program on the map similiar to what Patrick Ewing did for Georgetown University’s basketball program and for coach John Thompson. Man thanks for the memories and rest in peace my brother.

  31. lilian

    so sad to learn about such at this time but all the same my heartfelt greetings to all the members of dares family. didnt know him but i attended federal government college kano. thanks for making us proud all through ur life time. rest in peace dear one, rest in peace. adieu.

  32. david oladapo fafore

    hey alex-dee, its so sad that you just left us like that, on behalf of the class of 91 F.G.C. KANO, i pray your family will be consoled by the Spirit of God for this loss. You were a very quiet guy in kano, i used to think i was tall until i met you in JS1, we were in the same class till you left to play BBall. You made our set proud by getting into the NBA. May the Lord continue to watch over those you left behind here. Michael Dare if you can, please get in touch. Its FAFO.

  33. Alex Porcar

    So sorry you have passed on. I don’t know if you would have remembered me from F.G.C. KANO, but we used to smoke Khat together during spare period in the forrest. Had I known that you had a weak heart, I would have never introduced you to Khat. I hope you were not still into Khat when you got to America and I hope it had nothing to do with your death. Rest in peace my brother

  34. Ayobami Alabi

    Even though I never met you or know you personally, I feel so sad that you are no longer with us. It pains me to see people go through problems such as heart problems, sight problems etc because these are human situations that is almost imposible to control. This is just too sad but I am sure that you are in a better place right now. May your soul rest in perfect peace with JESUS CHRIST, AMEN. I will never forget you my fellow Nigerian.

  35. Iliyasu Biu M.

    This was a great loss. May God and heaven heal the wounds that earth has created by taking U away.Amen!!! And may the bond of true brotherhood keep the ex-students of FGC Kano.(1984-1990)Amen!!!
    Iliyasu Biu M.

  36. Mohammed

    The image of you in your ‘GREEN and WHITE’ walking tall in F.G.C Kano, is still very fresh in my memory,that was some odd twenty years ago, how time flies.There were stories going round that you had left for the united states,soon after we heard you were playing professional basket ball in america, boy oh boy, you made us proud that someone was representing PRO UNITATE, great FEDGOCOL.Then we heard of the sad news. On behalf of the class of 86\92 we bid you a hero’s farewell.
    CLASS OF 86\92 F.G.C Kano.

  37. iseoluwapo ademosu

    Yinka ,
    We all heared of you when we got admitted into FGCK as the most sucessfull and humble basket ball player the school ever produced.we long to see you returned one day to encourage those who inspired to be like you but the day never came till we graduated in 1996. but the joy has always been that MY SCHOOL PRODUCED AN NBA star player, it made us all a champion every where we spoke of NBA. Thanks bro and have a sweet night rest .On behalf of ClASS OF 96 we say farewall our UNCLE.

  38. iseoluwapo ademosu

    Yinka ,
    we longed to see you while we were in school after we heared on an assembly of you been the one of the greatest STUDENT that have ever studied at FGCK.We all waited that one day ,we all would get to see the NBA superstar to encourage us.In 1994 during and assembly we got the said news of your death.with the memories of your NBA times ,we lived like champions like you where in the NBA.thanks Uncle for the glory brought on the us all and the school.CLASS OF 96

  39. ifeanyi

    sad, i knew u as a very tall junior in secondary school in federal government college kano. aah i heard about u ur succcess never knew the next time i will hear again is that u are dead. what a life. God knows! may He give your parents the grace to bear this loss.

  40. Adam Lavers

    That is what time does we learn of a friends death eons and years apart i remember you as a friend to my younger brother both in kano capital and FGC kano where we all attended,i never knew your rise to stardom but you were always a good and humble person
    Salammm Yinka

  41. Anietie John James

    I am sadden that you have gone. I was two years your junior in Federal Government College Kano. Yes Micheal, your elder brother was very fond of you. I remember him fighting someone who attacked you. May your gentle soul rest n perfect peace.
    Anietie John James (Class of ’88)

  42. olatokunbo

    i dont know who you are untill now i heard of your death not knowing are by 2 big brothers friends at Federal government college kano Abayomi Alabi and Olufemi Alabi readin all this made me to call my brothers and i asked them if they no someone called Yinka there were so shocked when i told them you gone to rest in peace anyway may the peace of the lord rest upon you family and your brothers and sister rest in peace and may God see your family through in all this struggle they are going through right now


    Its really sad to read this while I was searching for my ALUMN’S globally!!!
    Being a PRO-UNITEDs-FGC NIGERIA-FGC KANO- 1995/2001 I wish to solely convey our condelence messege to the whole of FGC family entirely.
    We have not met b5 neither do you know class 95/01 but years have counted you among US and you have left us leaving a path for which we are still striving through !
    How i wish i can wisper this to you now “may your soul in heaven rest in peace”
    Smile now,once more YINKA.

  44. Akin Davies

    I remember Yinka during my days at Dabo Primary School, Kano and remember seeing him a lot at Kano Club. I left Dabo in 1983.I have been speaking with a few old school mate/ classmates and some of the folks that played against Yinka in the basketball finals in Kano. It is a sad loss and may God grant him eternal rest.

  45. Ifiok John James

    It really come as a shock to me on hearing this.Yinka was two years my senior in Federal Government College,Kano.And we were in the same boarding house (Watari House).Yinka you will surely be missed.May your gentle soul rest in perfect peace.Adieu brother.
    (FGC Kano,1988-1993)

  46. Maureen Saduwa

    I am shocked to say the least.I was on the net today trying to find old school mates when I saw this write up on Yinka Dare. Though I wasn’t a close friend of Yinka nor his brother Mike, they were both popular students at FGC Kano mainly because of their height and active participation in sports. I also remember that Mike was so protective of his younger brother Yinka.
    Mike, I know it hurts because I’ve been there too. One thing you should be thankful to God for are the memorable years you and your family spent with Yinka.
    May his soul rest in peace.

  47. Usman Ibrahim Marafa

    Alex Dee!
    I remember all the times at FGC KANO in JS 1N to JS 3N. Yinka was always the leader in whatever we do in the class. Everyone in the class wanted to be close to ALEX DEE, you were the inspirator, the motivator, you were the soul of the N-Class. We miss you Yinka, everyone of us; Abdullahi Monguno, Sunusi Mohammed, Babatunde Layode, Jamila Ibrahim, Bola Bunmi, Nuhu Bello, Jibril Mohammed, Bola Dahunsi, Chijioke Udokwu, Deji Onasanya, Aminu Rimi, Hannah Ajanya, Onu Uchola, Muyiwa Olanrewaju, Ravi Prasad, Aliyu S. Aliyu, Dapo Fafore, Gbemisola Jones, Hadiza Isyaka Rabiu, Uzoma Nzenwa, Sina Popoola, Paul Omoarukwe, Abba Danmaraya, Anthony Oputa, Kunle Okusanya, Auwalu Kabir, Ike Amefula, Essien Sunday, Mohammed Auwalu, Sani Muazu, Ikenna Obele, Auwalu Idris, Sunday Achebe, Francis Ogbah, Adamu Danlami, Ngbede Ogoh, and all the rest, the 45 boys and girls, and our dear form mistress; Mrs Arigbede. MAY YOUR GENTLE SOUL REST IN PERFECT PEACE.May God give your family the fortitude to bear the loss. Amen.
    We call him Alex Dee because OF his English Name; ALEXANDER (ALEX) and DARE (DEE).

  48. leonard awo kalu Igbani(Malmo, Norway)

    My thoughts go out to Yinka’s family and friends and especially his Brother Michael whom i got to know better through Emmanuel Uche Abbah. Hope to see u in heaven one day, Alex-Dee!
    I am lucky to have known u as a friend and room mate in school.
    Réposée vous Bien avec Le Bon Dieu

  49. Kunle Siwoku

    I knew you well in FGC Kano. I also remember telling myself what a fine young man you had become when I learnt you were in America. I believe one can always take comfort in the hope that you are in a much better place. Rest in peace old friend.

  50. tunji2g@yahoo.com

    may the Almighty continue to uphold your family and your legacy.
    i join my FGCKano class of ’96 bro ,iseoluwapo ademosu;to wish the entire family well.
    stay strong,stay great
    ‘soji adebola (FGC Kano class of ’96)

  51. Kike Obatolu

    Yinka Dare’s memory lives on…I do wish I had known him better. I had the pleasure of staying with his parents and younger sister for the most part of this year, and he is still very much alive in their hearts.
    I hope you are resting cousin…
    Kike Obatolu

  52. Frank Urefe

    I cannot believe you are gone. I met you once before you left for the United States in Lagos. You were playing for Kano Pillars then. I was in Canada playing colleage basketball when I heard about your death. May your soul rest in peace.. Frank A. Urefe

  53. Obinna Isiguzo

    Dear Dare family,
    Yinka died before I came into Texas in May of 1994, I heard that he was playing the Eastern Circuit…wow…gone too soon, if you recall Tolia friend-Obinna who came regularly to your house in Bompai most weekends with Michael Dare…you shared you home with me and I am sad to know that Yinka is gone, please on behalf of my family accept our sympahty as the Holy Spirit consoles you each day, just like Tolia is gone and his brother we as freinds must continue to seek the face of God is these endtimes for his Grace is sufficient to bear any burdens or situations….may you find solace in the resurrection of Jesus Christ Name…it is well with your soul!!

    • Oluwatoyin Olayomi Ijishakin

      Tolia! Same mix race slightly chubby Tolia? That always love to holiday around most of his friends houses in Kano before gone back home after after end of term ?

      I lost contact with most of my friends from Kano after secondary school.

      How could we have lost so many of us?
      May his gentle soul continue to rest in perfect peace.

  54. Sheriff abdulrazaq

    On behave of make way class 2009 and community basketball group of fgc kano i send condolence greeting to senior yinka’s family. We did not know u but we had about d gud job. May your soul rest in peace

  55. Arc Ngbede Ogoh

    Oh Yinka!
    My heart is indeed broken. I have always talked about you with a lot of friends I come across; I was and I still proud of you. You were my classmate, you were also my room-mate in Watari house. It is even more sad to hear this sad news after so many years. I pray that your VERY GENTLE soul should rest in peace.
    I will never stop talking about you!
    I will always be proud of you!!
    Rest in peace my friend!!!

  56. Dr Onyebuchi Ogbuagu

    Am indeed shocked to read of your departure so soon. may the lord grant youn eternal rest and comfort your family as well.

  57. AHMED A.M.


  58. Wakli Isa Yakubu

    This is indeed a great loss to the family and those of us who new ”dogo” as he is popular called in hausa. Yinka was very close friend to my twin brothers (hassan and hussein ) in the same nbhd in kano (St Louis Avenue/President Avenue ). What a family of a genetic tallness , such is life.
    May your soul rest in perfect peace. I knew you will be great one day, but your sudden/early death came to us as a shock.

  59. Abdullahi Abubakar

    l remember u vividly, u wia a very tall cool guy, not like the other seniors who bully us,then l c u a giant of sort. l was young n your jinior in FGC Kano Benue house.your time was brief, l pray God grant you paradise, while your family the fortitude to bear d lost. Adios YINKA

  60. Bayo Okuboyejo

    So sad indeed. I heard the news at Rotimi Beyioku’s wedding @ LTV 8 where most of us were ex FGCKs. May God grant the family the fortitude to bear this great loss. We miss u Yinka.

  61. Okechukwu Nwankwo

    I find it difficult to believe that the FGC Kano that I know today (that doesn’t presently have a basketball team) actually produced an NBA star… Ha! I just got prouder of my alma mater. RIP Sir.

  62. Michael Egbo

    Yinka I knew was quiet. i remember vividly how we had always encouraged him and Mike the elder brother to join us in the school basketball team.Got excited when I learnt he played for the Nets and was devastated when i heard that Yinka was no more. i want to console the parents of this gentleman.they should take solace in the fact that Yinka had left behind very good memories.
    We all miss him and also Alamin Yusufari in the college basketball team.

  63. Adesina Popoola

    Great Alex Dee!!!
    Fond memories of a great guy with great impact on the sand of time. i can’t but drop a line as i stumbled on this blog. You were gentle, kind and peaceful in all conduct as we relate as colleagues at FGC Kano. Continue to rest in the Lord.
    FGC Kano, Class of ’91

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