Former Sixer, Armen “The Hammer” Gilliam dies playing basketball

    An autopsy will determine the true cause of death, but when former Sixers player Armen “The Hammer” Gilliam died last night, he was doing what he loved.

    The NBA star was at a gym outside Pittsburgh playing basketball when he died, the Associated Press reports.

    Drafted as the No. 2 overall pick out of college, Gilliam went on to play for the Suns, Hornets, Nets, Bucks, Jazz and yes, the Sixers.

    “We are deeply saddened to learn about the loss of Armen Gilliam,” reads a statement from Sixers President Rod Thorn. “He was a hard-working, physical player during his distinguished 13 years in the NBA and we are proud of the contributions he made to the Sixers from 1990 to 1993.  On behalf of the entire Sixers organization, we send our deepest condolences to the Gilliam family during this very difficult time.”

    Gilliam was 47.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal