ROUNDBALL DAILY

Lee Green and David Edwards, both New Yorkers and college basketball players in the ’40s, have fallen to the coronavirus this week

Lee Green (left) and David Edwards (right), both college basketball stars of another era, passed away due to the coronavirus. (Getty Images)

By Joel Alderman

Two stars of another era, Lee Green at St. John’s, along with fellow New Yorker David Edwards, who went to Georgetown and then Texas A&M, are believed to be the first former college basketball players to die in the coronavirus pandemic.

Green played for the Redmen, as they were then known, from 1991 through 1994. He passed away at the age of 49. He was a Parade All-American who went to St. Nicholas of Tolentine High School in the Bronx and played in two NCAA tournaments for St. John’s. He attended its win over DePaul in Madison Square Garden on Jan. 11th and remained close to the program.

He played on Lou Carnesecca’s last team and two seasons for Brian Mahoney.
“He was a very gifted athlete, very strong,” Mahoney said in the New York Post. “He was a guard who could penetrate. He had very good skills penetrating, dribbling the ball and became a very good defensive player for us.”

Green averaged only 2.9 points a game, but “was our defensive lockdown guy,” St. John’s director of sports medicine and head trainer Ron Linfonte said. “He could score if he needed to. . . He sacrificed his offense a lot for the good of the team, and he was everybody’s favorite.”

Before St. John’s Green put in a post-graduate year at Cheshire Academy. It is believed that he contracted the virus at an event he was working at as a DJ. He was a retired police officer.

Edwards assist record still stands

Edwards, also 49 years of age when he died, played first at Georgetown in 1989, before transferring to Texas A&M where in three seasons he averaged 13.5 points. He had 265 assists his last year, still a record for the school. His former teammate, Charles Henderson, said “Dave was one of the fiercest competitors and point guards I’ve ever met. Nearly unstoppable.”

Green and Edwards are the only two ex-college basketball players we know of whose lives ended unexpectedly because of COVID-19. Nobody is immune.

Also see:

A third ex-college basketball player, Jonathan Duck (Iona) is victim of coronavirus

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