NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A local basketball star who went on to play in the NBA has passed away.
Former Tennessee State University player Anthony Mason, age 48, died Saturday morning from heart complications.
Mason played for TSU from 1985 to 1988 and was the school's 5th all-time leading scorer with 2,076 points before being drafted by the NBA.
Mason was best remembered for leading the New York Knicks to the NBA finals in 1994.
He also won numerous awards during his 13 years with the league, including being selected as the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year in 1994.
In a statement released by TSU, school officials said. “The Tennessee State University family is saddened over the loss of alumnus Anthony Mason. We send our condolences to the Mason family during this difficult time and will keep them in our prayers.”
Officials added Mason was key in helping successfully transition TSU’s program into the Ohio Valley Conference. Mason even went on to be TSU’s first All-Ohio Valley Conference Player in 1988.
Teams Mason played for in the NBA include the Portland Trail Blazers, New Jersey Nets, Denver Nuggets, New York Knicks, Charlotte Hornets, Milwaukee Bucks, and Miama Heat. Mason averaged 10.8 points and 8.3 rebounds during his NBA career.
Anthony Jr., Mason’s oldest son, played for St. John’s. His other son, Antoine, was on the roster at Auburn after transferring from Niagara.
Friends said they will remember Mason as a loving husband and father, as well as an exceptional athlete.