Quintin Dailey, the basketball savant who led the University of San Francisco to its last glimpse at national prominence before, literally, killing the program, has died in his sleep. He was just 49 years old.
Dailey was, statistically, the best collegiate scorer the Bay Area has ever seen; his 25.2 points per game in 1981-82 outshines K.C. Jones, Bill Russell, Jason Kidd, Kevin Johnson, and all the rest. But it's Dailey's guilty plea in 1982 to assaulting a USF nursing student that will forever be foremost in fans' minds. That crime -- originally charged as an attempted rape -- led to an NCAA inquiry of USF. The school then shocked the sporting world by pulling the plug on its hallowed basketball program, only restarting it in 1986. USF hoops has never been close to nationally prominent since.
Despite his legal woes, Dailey was still skilled at putting the ball in the basket -- and was drafted seventh overall by the Chicago Bulls. He was a pariah around the league, and booed in stadiums from coast to coast.
The 6-foot-3 guard put together a decent-on-paper 10-year career, averaging 14.1 points per game for three teams between 1982 and '92. But drugs, mysterious weight gains, and brushes with the law grounded his limitless potential. Even as a league veteran, he was still booed and scrutinized because of his behavior as a USF student.
"Sometimes, I think I'll be glad when basketball is over for me,
because people bring that up,'' he told the Seattle Times in 1990 of his past. "I hope it will end. I've
Dailey, who had purportedly been clean and sober for years, was working as a supervisor at the Parkdale Community Center in Vegas. He is survived by his daughter, Quincy, and son, Quintin, a 6-foot-3 guard on Eastern Michigan's basketball team.
H/T | Rich Lieberman
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