Big 12 Basketball

Texas Basketball Legend Lance Blanks Dead at 56

NABC National Championship Trophy

Former Texas Longhorns guard Lance Blanks, part of the program’s famed ‘BMW backcourt,’ died on Wednesday, the school announced.

Blanks was 56. He has spent the past several seasons as an analyst for ESPN calling Big 12 basketball games.


Blanks collaborated with Travis Mays and Joey Wright to help the Longhorns achieve unprecedented success under then-coach Tom Penders.

Blanks transferred to Texas from Virginia and played just two seasons with Texas, but during that span the Longhorns went 49-18 and the Longhorns reached the NCAA Elite Eight during Blanks’ senior season in 1989-90.

Texas’ high-scoring offense allowed Blanks to leave Texas as the eighth-leading scorer in school history with 1,322 points. That was the highest total by a two-year player in program history. He left as UT’s all-time leader in steals (198) and third in career scoring average (20.0 ppg).

Blanks was a first-round pick of the Detroit Pistons in 1990. He played three years in the NBA before embarking on a long career as an NBA scout, which culminated in him being named the general manager of the Phoenix Suns in 2010, a job he held for three years.

“Lance was a light for all those who knew him,” NBA executive vice president and head of baseball operations Joe Dumars, who played with Blanks in Detroit. “ It’s been a privilege to have called him one of my closest friends.  I’m eternally grateful for all the support he has shown me throughout the years.  His legacy will be carried on, not only by his family, but by all those whose lives he touched for the better.”

You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard

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