Professional basketball star Drew Gordon dead at 33 following a car accident

 June 1, 2024

Professional basketball star Drew Gordon, who played a brief stint in the NBA and is the older brother of Denver Nuggets star Aaron Gordon, passed away on Thursday at the age of 33, according to CBS Sports.

An ESPN reporter broke the news that Gordon died in a car accident in Portland, Oregon, as confirmed by the player's agent, Calvin Andrews.

Gordon had been a star player in high school and college but only played in a handful of games in the NBA for the Philadelphia 76ers, and instead found success as he bounced around the NBA's lower G-League and the European professional basketball leagues for several years.

Standout basketball star

According to his obituary, Gordon hailed from San Jose, California, and was a standout player at Archbishop Mitty High School, where he was honored as the Cal-Hi Sports Athlete of the Year in 2007.

He received offers to play college ball at several top-tier programs and settled on UCLA, where he played for two seasons before clashing with the Bruins' coaching staff and transferring to the University of New Mexico, where he excelled as a power forward and led the Lobos to a Mountain West Conference championship and NCAA Tournament appearance.

Gordon was expected to be drafted into the NBA in 2012 but was never selected by any of the teams. He continued to play in the NBA's summer league and Europe before he was picked up briefly by the 76ers in 2014, only to be waived a short time later after playing just nine games in the elite basketball league.

He then returned to Europe and played in multiple countries until 2022, when he was forced to flee from the Ukrainian team he played for in Kyiv and escaped back to the U.S. just weeks before the Russian invasion began. He last played for a team in Japan before retiring in 2023.

Escaped Ukraine with his family ahead of Russia's invasion

In April 2022, Andscape provided an in-depth account of Gordon's harrowing ordeal in getting himself and his wife and two young sons out of Ukraine just before the Russian invasion commenced.

Gordon ended up in Ukraine after playing for several teams in the NBA's G-League and professional leagues in European nations like Serbia, Sardinia, Turkey, France, Lithuania, Poland, and Russia. He had hoped to lead the Kyiv-based team to a Ukrainian SuperLeague championship and qualify for the prestigious EuroLeague, but geopolitical developments upended those plans.

Faced in February 2022 with increasingly dire warnings from back home about the impending Russian invasion and delays in obtaining necessary paperwork for his infant son Brody, who'd just been born in January, Gordon was finally able to arrange an exit from the country and returned to the U.S. with his family just a couple of weeks before the war began.

Gordon had nothing but praise for his coaches and teammates in Ukraine, as well as deep respect for the Ukrainian people and their country, but he emphasized that his "family’s safety is first" in deciding to flee back to the U.S. ahead of the impending military conflict.

Of his years-long career in Europe, Gordon told Andscape, "Me and my family have literally been able to travel the world and see things that most people wouldn’t be able to see, whether it be one of the big cities in Russia or Turkey or France, Greece, you name it. We’ve been able to go and be a part of that culture and that lifestyle."

Condolences for the terrible loss

Upon learning of Gordon's untimely death in a car accident, the UNM Lobos said on social media, "We are heartbroken over the passing of Drew Gordon. A two-time all-conference forward, he helped lead us to the 2012 Mountain West title."

The EuroLeague also noted the tragic news about Gordon and posted, "Euroleague Basketball joins the global basketball community in mourning the loss of Drew Gordon, who passed away on Thursday. Our deepest condolences to his family and loved ones."

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
© 2015 - 2024 Conservative Institute. All Rights Reserved.