UNLV great and former NBA player Armen Gilliam died Tuesday night while playing pickup basketball at a Pittsburgh-area health club. He was only 47.
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Nicknamed "The Hammer," Gilliam averaged 13.7 points and 6.9 rebounds during his thirteen-year NBA career. He changed the spelling of his first name from Armon to Armen during his professional playing days.
UNLV retired Gilliam's #35 jersey in 2007 and inducted him into the school's athletic Hall of Fame in 2008. He was a consensus second-team All-American and Big West player of the year during the 1986-87 season.
"He was one of the greatest Rebels ever," Jerry Tarkanian, his coach at UNLV said in a statement released by the university. "He was such a great person. Everybody loved him and he loved everybody. He was such a gentle person and such a caring guy. I am all shook up over it. I think the world of him and I'm just really shocked."