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

alt="photo of Jonathan Duck"

Jonathan Duck, who had just turned 50 years old, died after testing positive for the coronavirus.

By Joel Alderman

About a week after the first two former college basketball players died of the coronavirus, a third, Jonathan Duck, has passed away in New York at the age of 50.

Duck was from the Bronx, NY, where he attended Our Savior Lutheran High School. He then went to Iona College in New Rochelle where he played three seasons under former all-American and later NBA director of basketball operations, Gary Brokaw.


“I remember when we signed him … He was a victim of prop 48 his first season and had to sit out. Jonathan was a big man and a good Gael.” RIP. (Jerseygael)

“Think I saw this on twitter, but didn’t Duck play at the same school as Tony Hargraves, Our Savior Lutheran? Could swear I saw him play in their tiny little gym. They played in the same league as Salesian HS at one point.” (sharkey)

“Correct Sharkey. OSL in the Bronx (believed closed). His game reminded me of former NBAer Wes Unseld.” (Maacmaniac)

After being scholastically ineligible his freshman year of 1988-89, Duck played three seasons, the last in 1990-91. He appeared in 88 games, three as a starter. He scored 626 points, had a 7.1% average, and he pulled down 354 rebounds, 184 of which were in his senior season.

David Edwards and Lee Green

As reported in our previous Roundball Daily article, the first two college basketball players in the nation to die of the virus were David Edwards, 48, of Queens (Georgetown and Texas A & M) and Lee Green, 49, from the Bronx, who played at St. John’s and remained close to its program since. Edwards averaged 13.5 points a game and left as the Texas A & M career leader in assists and steals. He was 48.

Edwards was the sixth man on the Georgetown team that included Alonzo Mourning and Dikembo Mutombo. Green, a Parade Magazine all-American, attended Tolentine High School in the Bronx and a post-graduate year at Cheshire Academy. He played at St. John’s from 1991 to 1994 and took part in two NCAA tournaments. He was known to his friends as El Dorado, a nickname he picked up on the courts at Rucker Park.

The last party

Duck and Green were at a birthday party March 14th at Mom’s Cigar & Lounge in Scarsdale, N.Y. It was hosted by David Cain, 49, to celebrate his coming birthday. Duck and Cain were teammates in AAU ball. At the party Green, a retired police officer, served as DJ, a hobby he had taken up.

Soon afterward, at least four of those at the party have tested positive for the virus and others are awaiting results. Cain is one of those who tested positive and he is now in quarantine at his home in Syracuse.

Recalling the event Cain told The New York Times “It was a great, great night. A beautiful night.”

Ten days later, Green, Edwards and now Duck were dead after being diagnosed with the coronavirus.

A basketball group

It was a gathering of basketball people, including two former N.B.A. players from the 1970s, Steve Burtt Sr. and David Britton.

Cain and Edwards played together in A.A.U. ball. Edwards might have been at the party but he was already sick from Covid-19.

“Three good friends — it’s been a rough week, to say the least,” Cain told the Times. Alone at his home in Syracuse, N.Y., he was in self- quarantine.

The March 14th birthday party was the last party held at the lounge before all nonessential businesses were closed a week later.

For Jonathan Duck and Lee Green, and maybe others, it was the last party they will ever attend.

Following is a list we hope will not grow:

Former college basketball players to die of the new corona virus (Covid-19)

Lee Green, 49, St. Johns, March 23, 2020
David Edwards, 48, Georgetown and Texas A&M, March 23, 2020
Jonathan Duck, 50, Iona, March 24, 2020


Lee Green and David Edwards, both New Yorkers and college basketball players in the ’90s, have fallen to the coronavirus this week

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *