NBA veteran Dan Roundfield (pictured), 59, drowned on Monday while saving his wife who got caught in rough water on the Caribbean island of Aruba, reports the Daily Mail.
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Roundfield, who was a three-time consecutive All-Star and played for 11 professional seasons with the Pacers, Hawks, Pistons, and Wizards had gone swimming with his wife, Bernie, off the island’s southeastern tip on Monday.
Ironically, the couple, who have frequented Aruba as many as 20 times, had never experienced any problems before.
Police investigators surmised that after Bernie was caught in rough waters that went beyond the protected reef area, Roundfield saved her by placing her on a rock. Sadly, Roundfield was then immediately swept away by a strong tide.
The 6’8″ former ball player’s body was discovered by the coast guard, under water, trapped beneath some rocks. Bernie was taken to safety by a man who had been scuba diving nearby.
Bernie was treated for shock by medics and the Aruban government provided social workers who could assist her in coping with the loss of her husband while she remained on the island.
According to friends and family, Roundfield was a unique individual with honorable attributes that endeared him to many.
Hawks legend and now-vice president Dominique Wilkins was deeply hurt by the death of his friend:
Danny was the most honest and upfront person I knew, and I’m very stunned at hearing the news of his death,’ he said in a statement released by the team according to the Daily Mail. “Danny’s one of my closest friends and he was a tremendous influence on my NBA career, on and off the court. He taught me how to be a professional and took me under his wing. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family, I will truly miss him.
Roundfield is survived by his sons, Christopher and Corey, and two grandchildren.