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Daryl Thomas, former captain of IU’s ’87 title team, passes away at 52

Courtesy Getty Images

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The man who set up Keith Smart’s game-winning shot in the 1987 National Championship game is dead.

Indiana University announced Wednesday that former captain Daryl Thomas has passed away at the age of 52. Reports indicate that he died of a heart attack.

Thomas played for the Hoosier from ’83-’87 and grabbed All-Big Ten honors.  As a senior in IU’s last championship season, he averaged  15.7 points and 5.7 rebounds per game.

His best game ever may have been the title game against Syracuse down in New Orleans. In addition to dropping 20 points, he backed down Orangeman Derrick Coleman and dished the ball out to Keith Smart for the game-winning corner shot.

Thomas hailed from Westchester, Illinois, which is a suburb of Chicago, and was the current boys’ basketball coach at Montini Catholic High School in Lombard, Illinois.

He finished his college career with 1,095 points and 419 rebounds over 106 games.

Indiana basketball and Coach Miller shared their condolences on Twitter Wednesday afternoon.