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Former College, Professional Basketball Player Dead At 74

Former Marquette basketball star George Thompson died at age 74.

The program announced Wednesday that Thompson passed away due to complications from diabetes.

“George is really the one who got everything started at Marquette,” head coach Shaka Smart said. “There aren’t words that can express how important he was to this program. The reverence with which former players and fans alike speak of George is second to none. We’ve lost a true legend.”

Thompson averaged 20.2 points per game during three seasons at Marquette from 1966 to 1969, leading the Golden Eagles to a 68-20 record with two NCAA tournament appearances. He held the school's all-time scoring record for 40 years before Jerel McNeal passed him in the 2008-09 season.

“George’s name is synonymous with Marquette Basketball,” Vice President & Director of Athletics Bill Scholl said. “He was part of the foundation our program was built on and his career speaks for itself. He had a lasting impact on our University and we mourn the loss with our entire Marquette family.”

Thompson played for the Pittsburgh Pipers/Condors, Memphis Tams during six seasons in the ABA. The shooting guard averaged 20.1 points per game, including a career-high 27.0 for the Condors in 1971-72, before joining the NBA's Milwaukee Bucks in 1974.