Former Indiana and Southern Miss basketball player Neil Reed passed away on Thursday due to what’s reported as a massive heart attack.
Reed, who was 36 years old, suffered the heart attack on Wednesday in Nipomo, California, which is 150 miles northwest of Los Angeles.
“I feel a true sense of loss with this,’’ former East Jefferson Parish head coach Jim Robarts said. “I feel more saddened with the loss of him as a person than as a player. We stayed in touch. He was going to come in for the (NCAA) Final Four (in April), but at the last minute he couldn’t make it. It would have been the last chance I would have had to see him.
“He was a great kid, very coachable. He may have been the hardest working guy I’ve ever been around. I couldn’t say he was the best athlete I coached, but he was the hardest worker. He certainly went farther than anybody I coached.
“Neil was the type of kid you would want your daughter to marry, just pure innocent, a Huckleberry Finn type,’’ Robarts added.
The Louisiana native played his high school basketball for East Jefferson Parish High, which he followed with three seasons at Indiana under Bob Knight.
Reed’s career in Bloomington came to its end after a junior season that included a taped practice in which Knight choked Reed.
He would go on to play his senior season at Southern Miss, then playing a season of professional basketball in Europe.
Reed is survived by his wife Kelly and their two children, Marley (age 6) and Pressley (4), along with his sister Michelle Williams and parents Terry and Pat Reed according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune.
Photo credit: Patrick Schneider/Indianapolis Star