SUMTER, S.C. -- Former Clemson basketball standout Clarke Bynum, who once helped thwart a plane hijacking, has died, the school said Tuesday. He was 45.
Bynum died Monday after a long battle with cancer, Clemson athletic spokesman Tim Bourret said. The 6-foot-7 Bynum averaged five points and two rebounds in four seasons with the Tigers from 1980-84. He was an All-Academic selection in the Atlantic Coast Conference in his senior season.
However, Bynum may be better known for subduing a man who attacked a pilot in the cockpit of a British Airways jet in December 2000.
The passenger managed to grab the controls, sending the plane into two nosedives. But Bynum and other passengers burst into the cockpit and wrestled the man down, restraining him until the flight with 398 people on board could land.
Bynum was awarded South Carolina's highest honor -- the Order of the Palmetto -- and a presidential commendation from Clemson University in 2001 for his heroism.
After graduating from Clemson, Bynum worked in the family insurance business and served as chairman of the private high school he attended, Wilson Hall, where he remains the school's all-time scoring leader.
Bynum is survived by his wife, Mary Lynn, and four children.