LEXINGTON, Ky. – Former Kentucky men’s basketball player Ed Davender died Thursday night after suffering a heart attack earlier in the week. He was 49 years old.
Davender, who starred at UK from 1985-88, currently ranks 11th on Kentucky’s all-time scoring list with 1,637 points. A two-time All-Southeastern Conference selection, Davender led Kentucky to two SEC regular-season and tournament championships in 1986 and 1988 and four NCAA tournament appearances.
“We are terribly saddened to hear that we’ve lost Ed Davender,” UK Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart said. “Our condolences go out to Ed’s family and friends during this very trying time. The Big Blue Nation will keep Ed and his family in their thoughts and prayers.”
With 1,637 career points and 436 total assists, Davender owns the illustrious distinction as the only player in school history with at least 1,500 points and at least 400 assists in a career. He ranks eighth all-time in assists and fourth in steals (191).
Twice Davender led the Wildcats in steals for a season and in 1988 he led the Wildcats in assists. Though he never led the Wildcats in scoring while playing alongside Kenny Walker and Rex Chapman, he averaged in double figures in three of his four seasons, including 15 or more in his final two.
He made 438 free throws in his career, more than any other Wildcat guard in school history.
Davender was eventually drafted No. 60 overall in the 1988 NBA Draft by the Washington Bullets.
A 6-foot-2 guard from Brooklyn, New York, Davender came to UK as a Parade All-American and a McDonald’s All-American. He played under head coaches Joe B. Hall and Eddie Sutton.