Ex-NCAA basketball standout dies at 29 from car accident


Former University of Maryland guard Cliff Tucker died Monday from injuries he sustained in a car accident on Interstate 10 in Texas, the school announced.

He was 29.

The El Paso Times reported Tucker was returning home to El Paso from San Antonio in a van with several other people Monday morning when the tread on the vehicle’s right rear tire separated. The Ford Transit lost control and rolled over.

Two other people were killed in the one-vehicle accident, and four more, including the driver, were injured.

Tucker played in 131 games for coach Gary Williams from 2007 to 2011 — 12th most in program history — and was a member of two NCAA tournament teams.

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“Cliff was a great teammate willing to do whatever it took to make us champions,” Williams said in a statement Monday. “One of the great things about coaching is getting to know each player and their passion for their family, life and basketball. That’s what makes this so difficult. He touched everyone who was a part of his life.”

Tucker excelled from beyond the arc. As a senior, he led Maryland in 3-pointers made with 41, and he ranks in the school’s top 20 all-time in 3-point field goal percentage (.352).

His most memorable shot came in College Park in 2010, when he hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to beat Georgia Tech and help the Terps win the ACC title.

News of Tucker’s death brought an outpouring of grief and tributes from former teammates, friends and fans.

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Before he joined the Terps, Tucker starred in both basketball (21.4 points and 10.1 rebounds per game) and football (939 receiving yards and 19 touchdowns) at Chapin High School in El Paso.

“Cliff meant a lot to El Paso, he meant a lot to the community here in the Northeast part of the city,” former Chapin basketball coach Toraino Johnson told the El Paso Times. “He was a great person who accomplished so much.”

Added Chapin football coach Rene Hernandez: “It’s devastating news. He was a great person, a great athlete, just great to be around.”

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Todd Windsor is a senior story editor at The Western Journal. He has worked as an editor or reporter in news and sports for more than 30 years.
Todd Windsor is a senior story editor at The Western Journal. He was born in Baltimore and grew up in Maryland. He graduated from the University of Miami (he dreams of wearing the turnover chain) and has worked as an editor and reporter in news and sports for more than 30 years. Todd started at The Miami News (defunct) and went on to work at The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C., the St. Petersburg (now Tampa Bay) Times, The Baltimore Sun and Space News before joining Liftable Media in 2016. He and his beautiful wife have two amazing daughters and a very old Beagle.
Bachelor of Science from the University of Miami
Phoenix, Arizona
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