MOUNT PLEASANT - The Central Michigan community is mourning the loss of former men’s basketball standout and Marcy Weston Athletics Hall of Fame member Dan Roundfield, who passed away unexpectedly Monday at the age of 59.
Reports Tuesday morning from awe24.com and the Aruba Herald indicate that Roundfield drowned while vacationing at Baby Beach in Aruba, after entering the water to assist his distressed wife. His wife returned safely to the shore.
“This is a tragic loss for the Central Michigan family,” Central Michigan Director of Athletics Dave Heeke said. “Dan was not only one of our all-time great basketball players but one of our all-time greatest athletes. Our sympathies go out to Dan's family, all his close friends and those that grew to love him throughout our basketball program.”
He was elected into the Central Michigan Athletics Hall of Fame in 1985, and was set to be one of 24 inducted into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame on Thursday, Aug. 16. His jersey number 32 is retired at Central Michigan.
The 6 foot, 8 inch Roundfield was a premier player at Central Michigan and went on to a 12-year NBA career with three All-Star selections.
Roundfield, who played power forward/center for the Chippewas from 1972-75, is Central Michigan’s all-time leading rebounder with 1,031 - the only player with 1,000 or more career rebounds - and the third-best shot blocker in program history with 175 swats. He is ninth on the all-time points scored list with 1,318
He holds a share of the single-game rebounds and blocks records, having collected 25 boards against Northern Michigan in 1974 and eight blocked shots twice in 1975. He owns three of the top seven single-game block records and four of the top 10 single-game rebounding performances.
He was named CMU’s first Mid-American Conference Player of the Year following the 1975 season, during which he led the Chippewas (22-6, 10-4 MAC) to a MAC Championship and a third-place finish in the Mideast Regional in the NCAA Tournament, defeating Georgetown and Oregon State along the way.
Following an outstanding collegiate career, Roundfield was highly coveted by both of the top U.S. basketball leagues, the American Basketball Association and the National Basketball Association. The Indiana Pacers, then of the ABA, drafted him ninth overall in 1975, while the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers selected him with the 28th pick of the second round. He chose to sign with the Pacers.
His playing career spanned from 1975-87 with stops at Indiana (1975-78); the Atlanta Hawks (1978-84); the Detroit Pistons (1984-85) and the Washington Bullets (1985-87).
He continued to excel in the professional ranks, enjoying a breakout 1980 NBA season with the Atlanta Hawks in which he was named an All-Star, was a member of the All-NBA second team, and was named to the All-Defensive first team.
He earned All-Star honors in the following two seasons, earned two more first-team All-Defensive honors in 1983-83, and second-team All-Defensive honors in 1981 and 1984. He averaged 14.3 points, 9.2 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game during his professional career, including six consecutive years from 1978-79 to 1982-83 where he averaged double digits in both points and rebounds per game.