Former St. John’s star and NBA forward Malik Sealy died in a car accident 12 years ago today, May 20.
Sealy was driving home in Minnesota from a birthday party for friend and teammate Kevin Garnett, when he was struck by a drunk driver who was traveling the wrong way down the highway. Sealy’s SUV reportedly did not have an airbag and he was not wearing his seatbelt.
Sealy averaged 18.9 points per game over his four seasons at St. John’s, and was an All-American in 1991-92. He was drafted 14th overall by the Indiana Pacers in the 1992 NBA draft.
He was a New York-born prospect who stayed in the city to play his college ball, something that traditionally helped St. John’s to build a strong program.
His best collegiate season came when he was a senior, averaging 22.6 points and 6.8 rebounds. In the NBA, he just over 10 points per game in his career.
Since his death, the Minnesota Timberwolves have retired his jersey number. Garnett, who was close with Sealy, has a tattoo honoring him.
The 6-foot-3 guard averaged 10.3 points per game, while shooting 42 percent from three, as a freshman. He, along with Malcolm Hill and Michael Thorne Jr., is one of three returning players who averaged double figures last season.
This could prove to be a make-or-break year for John Groce, who enters his fifth season at the helm. He guided the Illini to an NCAA Tournament in his first season, but hasn’t been back since.
The key for the Illini is health. Abrams gives them experience and leadership, but it won’t be a surprise if there’s some rust in his game after spending the past two seasons on the sideline. Having a healthy Coleman-Lands will help stabilize the backcourt, while Hill, an all-conference caliber forward, and Thorne anchor the frontcourt.
Like Alkins, Jones was a sought-after scorer. The 6-foot-4 two-guard was rated No. 69 overall in the Class of 2016 by Rivals. He picked Indiana over offers from Cal, Cincinnati, Georgetown and more than a dozen other high-major programs.
Jeter, the 6-foot-10, played in a reserve role as a freshman, averaging 1.9 points and 1.9 rebounds per game last season. He will be part of a loaded frontline that includes heralded freshmen Harry Giles and Marques Bolden, as well as redshirt senior Amile Jefferson, who returns to the lineup following a foot injury.
The greatest player in Auburn program history will honored with a statue outside of the team’s home arena.
The university announced that Charles Barkley, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer, will be the fourth athlete to be given a statue, joining Heisman Trophy winners Bo Jackson, Pat Sullivan and Cam Newton.
“It just means a great deal to me,” Barkley said in a statement. “Being a kid from Alabama, going to Auburn. I think everybody knows what Auburn means to me. It’s going to be pretty cool.”
Barkley, currently working as an analyst for TNT, was the SEC Player of the Year in 1984, as well as a second team All-American. He averaged 14.1 points and 9.6 rebounds per game in 84 appearances for the Tigers.