Dwight Anderson, former Kentucky and USC hoops player, dies

The 6-foot-3 guard began his college career under coach Joe B. Hall at Kentucky, where he averaged 13.3 points and shot 51% from the field as a freshman during the 1979 seaso

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Courtesy: AP

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Dwight Anderson, who earned the nickname “The Blur” because of his speed on the court playing basketball at Kentucky and Southern California, has died. He was 61.

Anderson died Saturday at his home in Dayton, Ohio, according to the Montgomery County coroner’s office. The cause was not immediately known and autopsy results were pending.

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The 6-foot-3 guard began his college career under coach Joe B. Hall at Kentucky, where he averaged 13.3 points and shot 51% from the field as a freshman during the 1979 season. He played in 11 games during the 1980 season for the Wildcats and averaged 10.7 points before transferring midseason to USC.

As a junior at USC in 1981, Anderson averaged 19.3 points, 6.3 rebounds and 3.2 assists in 12 games. The following season he averaged 20.3 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 27 games. Anderson was named All-Pac-10 first team and was an All-American honorable mention. He helped lead the Trojans to a 19-9 record and an NCAA Tournament berth.
Anderson is remembered by USC fans for a behind-the-backboard shot against Washington on March 6, 1982, at the Los Angeles Sports Arena. He retrieved an errant pass behind the backboard, spun in the air as he fell out of bounds and shot it over the backboard and in for a basket, which is now against the rules.

Al McGuire, who was broadcasting the game, exclaimed, “A star is born!”

Anderson was a McDonald’s All-American at Roth High in Dayton, where he averaged a triple-double of 38 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists as a senior.

He was selected in the second round of the 1982 NBA draft by Washington but was cut in the preseason. He played five games with Denver in 1983. Anderson played four years in the Continental Basketball Association with a career average of 20 points. He was the league’s scoring champion in 1985.

By the early 1990s, Anderson’s basketball career had ended. He struggled with addiction issues for several years.

“I disappeared after that. I had no self-esteem, I just got high,” he told the Dayton Daily News. “I never thought about ballin’ again.”

Anderson later underwent treatment in Houston at John Lucas’ wellness and aftercare program. In 2011, he appeared to have turned his life around and he worked as an assistant coach at a high school in the Dayton area.

Funeral arrangements were pending.

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Bryan Kennedy hails from the Bluegrass State. He was born and raised in Owensboro, KY where he graduated from Apollo High School in 2006. Bryan graduated from the University of Kentucky with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Spanish in 2010. He also received his master's degree in Sports Media and Branding from Western Kentucky University. While at UK, Bryan was the general manager of the on-campus TV station. He also did sports reporting, anchoring, producing and even the weather for UK Student News Network. While working for UKSNN, he also had the pleasure of covering Coach John Calipari's first press conference when he was introduced as the new head coach of the Kentucky Wildcats; easily one of his favorite moments as a young sports reporter. Before coming to ABC 36, Bryan was a morning anchor and reporter at WXXV News 25, our sister station in Gulfport, MS. He anchored more than four hours of news every day, including morning shows on NBC and Fox. While down south, Bryan had the opportunity to cover the Sugar Bowl, New Orleans Saints and the New Orleans Pelicans. After spending a little more than two years at WXXV, Bryan is extremely excited to return home. In his spare time, Bryan enjoys playing sports, especially rugby. He also enjoys crossfitting and watching sports (obviously). He's extremely excited to cover Central Kentucky. Feel free to say hello and send story ideas toBKennedy@wtvq.com