Former Kentucky guard Ed Davender dies at 49

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) Former Kentucky guard Ed Davender, the only Wildcat with at least 1,500 points and 400 assists, has died. He was 49.

The school announced Saturday that Davender died Thursday night after suffering a heart attack earlier in the week.

Davender ranked 11th in Kentucky scoring with 1,637 points and eighth with 436 assists while playing with the Wildcats from 1984-88. He was among the top 10 in several other categories, including fourth with 191 steals. His 438 free throws are the most by a Kentucky guard.

The two-time Associated Press all-Southeastern Conference selection helped Kentucky win SEC tournament titles in 1986 and 1988 and play in four NCAA Tournaments.

''We are terribly saddened to hear that we've lost Ed Davender,'' athletic director Mitch Barnhart said in a statement. ''Our condolences go out to Ed's family and friends during this very trying time.''

Former Kentucky coach Joe B. Hall recruited the 6-foot-2 Davender from New York and coached him during his final season with the Wildcats before Eddie Sutton succeeded him on the bench. Hall recalled Davender as an assertive but affable person who made a lot of friends in Lexington.

Though eclipsed statistically first by Kenny Walker and then Rex Chapman, Davender was a double-digit scorer in three of his four years with Kentucky. Hall said his recruit from Brooklyn established a presence on both ends of the floor.

''In a way he was overshadowed, but he was consistently good and played an important role,'' Hall said in a phone interview. ''I marveled at his improvement because he didn't back down from anybody.''

The Washington Bullets selected Davender 60th in the third round of the 1988 NBA draft but his pro career never took off.

In 2010, he pleaded guilty and was sentenced to eight years in prison in Fayette County for a Kentucky basketball season ticket scam that defrauded victims of thousands of dollars.

Davender was eligible for parole and released after serving part of his sentence. The Lexington Herald-Leader reported that he had recently worked for the city's parks and recreation department.

The funeral will be held in Lexington.

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