July 7, 2018

Former basketball star Clifford Rozier passes away at 45

By Matt Bradshaw —

Following a heart attack earlier this week, former Louisville basketball great Clifford Rozier passed away on Friday in his hometown of Brandenton, Florida.

The 6-foot-11 Rozier was a McDonald’s All-American in high school and state Mr. Basketball in 1990. He played his first two years of college ball at North Carolina before transferring to Louisville in 1992.

In Rozier’s two seasons as a Cardinal, he averaged a double-double. During the 1993-94 season, Rozier was a first-team All-American while averaging 18.1 points and 11.1 rebounds per game.

Rozier is one of five AP first-team All-Americans from U of L and remained the most recent to achieve the honor until Russ Smith in 2014.

After his eye-catching performances at Louisville, the Golden State Warriors selected Rozier in the first round of the NBA draft. Rozier would later play for Toronto and Minnesota during a four-year career where he averaged 4.8 points and 5.2 rebounds per game.

Things took a turn for the worse as Rozier’s professional career came to a close. According to a 2010 Sarasota Herald-Tribune story, Rozier battled schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, as well as an addiction to crack.

Nonetheless, Rozier is remembered fondly by friends and fans for his time spent at the University, and for his contributions for the basketball team.

As a senior for the Cards, Rozier set a still-standing NCAA record with a 15-of-15 shooting performance in a win over Eastern Kentucky. He also set a Louisville record for most consecutive field goals made (19).

You can follow The Louisville Cardinal on Twitter @thecardsports.

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