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ESPN Remembers Lance Blanks

Lance Blanks
(Melissa Rawlins/ESPN Images)

ESPN men’s college basketball analyst Lance Blanks passed away Wednesday. He was 56.

“We are shocked and saddened to learn that Lance Blanks has passed away,” said Patricia Lowry, ESPN Vice President, Production. “A former Texas basketball standout, Lance loved the sport and brought so much passion to calling games on Longhorn Network and ESPN. He was a dear friend and colleague, and beloved by our Austin-based production team. Our thoughts are with Lance’s family during this extraordinarily difficult time.”

Blanks, a former University of Texas standout, NBA first-round pick, and front office executive, joined ESPN in 2014. He was the lead men’s college basketball analyst for Longhorn Network, in addition to calling other games across ESPN platforms.

Blanks played two seasons at Texas after transferring from Virginia in 1987. In Austin, Blanks helped the Longhorns to a 49-18 mark and led the team to an “Elite Eight” appearance his senior season in 1990. He was inducted into Texas Athletics’ Hall of Honor in 2007.

Blanks, depicted here interviewing Texas’ Andrew Jones in 2019, joined ESPN in 2014. (ESPN)

Blanks was drafted by the Detroit Pistons as the 26th overall pick in the first round of the 1990 NBA draft. After two seasons with the Pistons, Blanks joined the Minnesota Timberwolves for one year in 1993 for his final NBA season. He continued to play professionally for six more years overseas and in other basketball leagues.

Following his playing career, Banks was an NBA scout in the San Antonio Spurs organization and the Assistant General Manager of the Cleveland Cavaliers for five seasons before he was named General Manager of the Phoenix Suns, a position he held from 2010-13.

Blanks is survived by his mother, Clarice; brother Sidney Jr.; the mother of his two daughters, Renee; his daughters, Riley and Bryn; and granddaughter, Isabel.

Lance Blanks (L) and Lowell Galindo (ESPN)

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