Cliff Robinson, a revered NBA veteran who played for 18 seasons, died Saturday at his Portland, Oregon, home. He was 53.
Robinson, affectionately known as “Uncle Cliffy,” died after a yearlong battle with lymphoma, his family said in a statement.
Robinson launched his basketball career in 1985 at the University of Connecticut, where the 6-foot-10 forward/center was an integral part of the Huskies winning the 1988 National Invitational Tournament over the Ohio State Buckeyes.
“The UConn Basketball family mourns the loss of a legendary player and person, Clifford ‘Uncle Cliffy’ Robinson,” the university tweeted Saturday. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Cliff’s family at this difficult time.”
Robinson, a second-round draft pick of the Portland Trail Blazers in 1989, won the 1992-1993 Sixth Man of the Year Award and was an All-Star in 1994 before going on to play with the Phoenix Suns, Detroit Pistons, Golden State Warriors and New Jersey Nets. He retired in 2007.
In recent years, he encountered several health problems, including a stroke he suffered in 2017 that temporarily paralyzed the left side of his body. The following year he had a tumor removed from his jaw.