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Former Wildcat Dwight “The Blur” Anderson dies at 59

Former Kentucky basketball player Dwight Anderson died Saturday. The cause of death is currently unknown, and his family is waiting on autopsy results, which are expected early next week. He was living in his hometown of Dayton, Ohio when he passed, his daughter said. Anderson was 59 years old.

Anderson graduated from Roth High School in Dayton before coming to Lexington to play for Coach Joe B. Hall in 1978. He averaged 13.3 points per game as a star freshman and shot approximately 50 percent from the field. By Christmas 1979, Anderson had transferred to the University of Southern California, where he played from 1981-82 and averaged 20 points per game. While at USC, he was named the MVP of the Aloha Classic in Honolulu after connecting on 26-of-33 field goal attempts.

Anderson earned the nickname “The Blur” because of his speed on the court, and he was the nation’s No. 1 prospect, a McDonald’s All-American and a Parade All-American as a high school recruit. During his time with USC, he was tabbed First Team All-Pac 10.

“The only reason I left Kentucky, and this is straight from my heart, was [assistant coach] Leonard Hamilton and [head coach] Joe B. Hall didn’t see eye to eye,” Anderson told the Herald Leader in 2013. “And Hamilton asked me to leave. And I left.”

Following his collegiate career, Anderson was taken by the Washington Bullets in the second round of the 1982 NBA Draft as the No. 41 overall pick. Later, he spent one season with the Denver Nuggets before spending several seasons with the Continental Basketball Association, a former basketball minor league in the United States. He played in 112 CBA games and averaged 21 points per outing.

 

But throughout that time in his life, Anderson struggled with drug abuse, citing cocaine and cognac as his drugs of choice. He entered the Houston-based John Lucas Treatment Center in 2004 and worked on getting clean, with the help of former teammate Dirk Minniefield. NBA legend Isiah Thomas helped pay for the treatment.

By 2011, he appeared to have turned his life around, as he was the assistant coach for a high school basketball team in the Dayton area. By 2013, he was promoting a basketball camp for boys and girls ages 9 through 18 in Wilberforce, Ohio, and he planned to attend Central State University to complete work on a college degree. In 2015, he was playing in the “Old Timers League” in Ohio and served as the subject of the documentary The Dwight Anderson Story: From Stardom, to Streets, to Survival.

May he rest in peace.

Article written by Maggie Davis

I love sports, podcasts, long walks on the beach and Twitter (@MaggieDavisKSR)

19 Comments for Former Wildcat Dwight “The Blur” Anderson dies at 59



  1. mashman 93
    6:11 pm September 6, 2020 Permalink

    His games against Kansas and Notre Dame were legendary especially the Notre Dame game. Rest In Peace Dwight. #theblur



    • UKFanSC
      9:37 pm September 6, 2020 Permalink

      He was a one year wonder. The Notre Dame game will always define his high water mark. He was an electric athlete. Very highly sought high school player.



  2. Lip Man 1
    6:24 pm September 6, 2020 Permalink

    Very sad news. But I never knew there was tension between Hamilton and Hall. I’m curious how and why that would impact Anderson and Hamilton must have had some stones to ask him to leave.



  3. DavidP19
    7:35 pm September 6, 2020 Permalink

    Those of you who never got to see him play —— missed somebody special !



    • Bluehender
      8:49 pm September 6, 2020 Permalink

      True that…RIP Dwight “the Blur” Anderson..



  4. BobbyBlue
    8:19 pm September 6, 2020 Permalink

    I watched the Notre Dame game in Freedom Hall, and that night he was as good as any guard I have ever seen wearing the Blue.
    I had a connection to Hamilton and never heard him mention anything about Anderson, except he had off court problems.



  5. Ryan Lemonds Toupee
    8:21 pm September 6, 2020 Permalink

    PSA: Kids, Just. Say. No



  6. dcforuk
    8:23 pm September 6, 2020 Permalink

    You have to watch this video of a shot by Dwight Anderson After he transferred from Kentucky to Southern California:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cvmCweujRLU



    • dcforuk
      8:25 pm September 6, 2020 Permalink

      The best part was listening to the announcer rave about the shot……



  7. BobbyBlue
    8:25 pm September 6, 2020 Permalink

    Cats would have won the SEC tournament, in his freshman season, if Anderson had not broken his wrist. Instead,ugh, the Vols barely beat Ky in the finals.
    RIP Dwight !



  8. chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door
    9:00 pm September 6, 2020 Permalink

    Sad. Prayers for his family.



  9. Batsell
    9:03 pm September 6, 2020 Permalink

    Can’t believe it took KSR so long to report on this UK legends passing. I guess it just shows they are to young to remember. Sad, but just life.



  10. runningunnin.454
    9:25 pm September 6, 2020 Permalink

    I remember Ralph Hacker called him DEEwight, ha ha. Never actually watched him play; I had already left UK, and was in Med School in Birmingham; three other Cat fans and I would drive to the top of Red Mountain to pick up the radio signal…usually with plenty of beer.
    I recall the Cats were down to KU 6 points with something like 30 seconds left in the game, and the blur had key points and steals to fuel the comeback, all without a shot clock and 3 point shot. Here he is against ND,
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SocYuEWrfj8



  11. rushman
    10:03 pm September 6, 2020 Permalink

    Rest In Peace Dwight. You will always be one of the great UK basketball players. So many wonderful memories. God Bless.



  12. Tom Bombadil
    10:57 pm September 6, 2020 Permalink

    He is for me The original #23! He quickly became my favorite UK player his freshman season..I was just 12 yrs old when he left, Broke my heart I’ll tell you that!! Always a CAT!!
    Rest in peace ‘The Blur’ D.A.
    God bless



  13. Tywhoppity
    9:59 am September 7, 2020 Permalink

    Didn’t he injure his wrist in a game vs LSU? I recall(through my teenaged eyes at the time) that it was a dirty play.