Former Phoenix Suns general manager Lance Blanks has died at the age of 56.
Blanks gained prominence in the basketball world as a member of the University of Texas basketball program from 1988 to 1990, helping the Longhorns reach the Elite Eight his final year there.
“Lance was a light for all those who knew him,” NBA exec and former Detroit Piston Joe Dumars said in a statement. “It’s been a privilege to have called him one of my closest friends.
“I’m eternally grateful for all the support he has shown me throughout the years. His legacy will be carried on, not only by his family, but by all those whose lives he touched for the better. You will be dearly missed, brother.”
Blanks was the 26th selection of the 1990 NBA Draft by the Detroit Pistons, playing short stints with them and the Minnesota Timberwolves before playing overseas.
After his playing career, he became a scout for the San Antonio Spurs in 2000 and was promoted to the director of scouting two years later. He spent five seasons as assistant general manager of the Cleveland Cavaliers and then was the GM of the Suns from 2010 to 2013.
Since 2020, Blanks had been a television analyst for Texas basketball on the Longhorn Network.
His 1,322 points still rank eighth in Texas history and are the most by a two-year Longhorn. His 20.0 points per game with Texas are the fourth-most in school history, and he ended his career as the school’s all-time leading stealer.
A cause of death has not be released.