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Weatherspoon, former Illini star, NBA player dies at age 58

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Nick Weatherspoon, a former University of Illinois basketball star who played seven seasons in the NBA, has died. He was 58.

The university said in a news release Saturday that Weatherspoon died in his hometown of Canton, Ohio, on Friday. The cause of death wasn't immediately known.

Weatherspoon left Illinois after the 1972-73 season as the school's career scoring leader with 1,481 points -- still the 10th best in Illini history.

The 6-foot-7 forward was a member of the NBA's all-rookie team in 1973-74 and played for Washington, Seattle, Chicago and San Diego. He had his best season for San Diego in 1978-79, averaging 13.8 points in 82 games. He averaged 9.0 points in 453 regular-season games and 9.1 points in 31 playoff games.