Ex-Duke player Thomas Emma dies

NEW YORK -- Police say former Duke basketball player Thomas Emma plunged from the 12th floor of the New York Athletic Club in Manhattan to his death in an apparent suicide.

Police say Emma's body was found at 11:30 a.m. ET Tuesday on a second-floor landing of the building on Central Park South.

The athletic club had no comment.

Emma, 49, was drafted in the 10th round of the 1983 NBA draft by the Chicago Bulls, but never played for them.

In 110 career games for the Blue Devils, including 71 starts, Emma scored 784 points (7.1 ppg) and had 245 assists.

Emma was the captain for the 1982-83 Duke team that featured the freshman trio of Jay Bilas, Johnny Dawkins and Mark Alarie, who eventually led the Blue Devils to the 1986 Final Four.

Bilas, a college basketball analyst for ESPN, told The (Durham) Herald-Sun that Emma "was like a big brother to me." Bilas said that Emma had been struggling with his health in recent months.

"He was a great guy," said Dawkins, now the coach at Stanford, according to the New York Daily News. "I have nothing but respect for him as a competitor. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family."

Emma was a high school star in Manhasset, on Long Island, and later earned his master's degree from Columbia University. He was president of Power Performance, Inc., a company devoted to training young athletes.

Emma also wrote a book, "Basketball Player's Comprehensive Guide to Strength Training."

An autopsy was scheduled.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.