Just one day after we lost a former Iowa Hawkeye offensive lineman at the tender age of 23, the Cyclone community is in mourning following the loss of their Hall of Fame basketball star.

Dedric Willoughby, an Iowa State Hall-of-Famer often considered one of the greatest shooters in the history of Cyclone men's basketball, died on July 20th, 2023. He was 49-years-old. Willoughby reportedly suffered a heart attack in the middle of a pickup basketball game in Atlanta, doing what he loved the most.

Willoughby playing for the Cyclones in 1997. Photo Credit: Stephen Dunn, Getty Images
Willoughby playing for the Cyclones in 1997. Photo Credit: Stephen Dunn, Getty Images

A New Orleans native, Willoughby attended Iowa State from 1995 to 1997 after transferring from the University of New Orleans. After going undrafted in 1997, he played for the Chicago Bulls for the 1999-2000 season, under coach Tim Floyd, the same man he played under at Iowa State.

During his year-long stint with the Bulls, Willoughby appeared in 25 games, started one, and averaged 7.6 points. Following his time with the Bulls, he signed with the Sydney Kings of the Australian National Basketball League. After a knee injury during practice, Willoughby's time as a professional basketball player ended.

Following his professional playing career, Willoughby became a coach with the All-Iowa Attack youth basketball program in Ames.

Dedric just meant so much to my coaching career and our team. He had one of the quickest releases of his shot of anyone I coached – in college or in the pros. Incredible intensity. He had an uncanny ability to get his 3-point shot off as quick as anyone I saw. - Tim Floyd, who coached Willoughby at Iowa State and with the Chicago Bulls, per The Des Moines Register

Dedric Willoughby was also the first player in Iowa State men's basketball history to score 1,000 points during a two-season career. He average 19.8 points a game in the process.

Read more about Dedric Willoughby's life and legacy on The Des Moines Register.

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