Two college basketball programs are in mourning today following the passing of former Kentucky and USC guard Dwight Anderson. He was 59 years old.
According to the Lexington Herald-Ledger, Anderson passed away over the weekend. Per the report, the cause of his passing is currently under investigation.
Anderson was the No. 1 freshman recruit in the country back in 1978. Nicknamed “The Blur,” Anderson had an immediate impact as a freshman, averaging 13.3 points per game – second on the team that year. But after playing in only 11 games as a sophomore, missing Kentucky’s NCAA Tournament appearance, he switched to USC.
As a member of the Trojans, Anderson began to truly live up to his potential. In 39 games over two seasons he averaged 20.0 points per game, leading the team in points per game both years. He helped lead USC to the NCAA Tournament in 1982, and had a game-leading 22 points in a narrow loss to Wyoming.
We would like to offer our sincerest condolences to the family of Dwight "The Blur" Anderson. Anderson, who played two seasons at Kentucky (1979-80), died this weekend. Few had the athletic ability of Anderson. May he rest in peace. pic.twitter.com/t7Vbw2QI2G
— Kentucky Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) September 7, 2020
#FightOnForever, Dwight Anderson.
The All-Pac-10 guard, who led the Trojans to the NCAA Tournament in 1982 en route to breaking the program’s career scoring average record, died on Saturday. He was 59. pic.twitter.com/7YLIFN1evP
— USC Men's Basketball (@USC_Hoops) September 6, 2020
After his heroics at USC, Dwight Anderson was drafted 41st overall by the Washington Bullets in the 1982 NBA Draft. His professional career didn’t last too long though. He played one season with the Denver Nuggets and then several seasons in the Continental Basketball Association with different teams.
Sadly, Anderson admitted in a 2013 interview that cocaine use and alcohol derailed his playing career. He eventually became homeless, reduced to hustling in one-on-one basketball and scavenging for fast-food scraps.
However, he got clean and had been living with his mother to take care of her at the time of his passing.
Our hearts go out to Mr. Anderson’s family and loved ones.