Pat Cummings, Former New York Knicks Forward, Dies at 55

ESPN is reporting that Pat Cummings, a forward who played with five NBA teams over his 12-year professional basketball career, was found dead Tuesday afternoon in his friend’s New York City apartment.

According to police reports, a medical examiner will perform an autopsy today to determine the cause of death, though as of last night there were no signs of criminality.

Cummings, a slender 6-foot-9 power forward, first made a name for himself at the University of Cincinnati, averaging 17.1 points and 8.3 rebounds over four seasons (1975-79).

As a Bearcat, Cummings tallied 1,762 points, which at the time of his graduation trailed only legend Oscar Robertson’s 2,973 points. Cummings’ scoring total still ranks sixth at UC and his .642 shooting percentage in 1979 remains a record at the school.

“Pat was obviously a great shooter and made a big impact as one of the best players in the history of our program,” Cincinnati Coach Mick Cronin said in a statement on the school’s website. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.”

Following his brilliant collegiate career, Cummings was selected by the Milwaukee Bucks in the third round of the 1979 NBA Draft and was traded to Dallas in 1982. He signed with the New York Knicks as a free agent in 1984 and had his best seasons as a pro playing along side Bernard King and Patrick Ewing.

Pat also played for Miami Heat and the Utah Jazz before a series of right ankle and foot injuries eventually derailed his career.

In 683 NBA games over 12 seasons, Pat Cummings averaged 9.6 points per game and 5.6 rebounds.