ESPN Remembers Lance Blanks
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 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 was a dear friend and one of the most impactful people in my adult life.
We loved talking about Texas hoops, social issues, our families and our dogs.
I’m so fortunate to have talked to Lance for 30 minutes on Saturday. I had no idea that would it would be our last talk.
— Lowell Galindo (@ESPNLowell) May 4, 2023
We mourn the death of our friend and colleague Lance Blanks. pic.twitter.com/2YB8bVbxDl
— Longhorn Network (@LonghornNetwork) May 5, 2023
Our family has lost a true Longhorn legend. 🤘
Our thoughts & prayers go out to the family & friends of Lance Blanks. #HookEm pic.twitter.com/aOkdX95lsf
— Texas Men’s Basketball (@TexasMBB) May 4, 2023
Steve Kerr opened his pregame news conference by offering condolences to the family and friends of Lance Blanks. The former NBA player, executive and ESPN analyst died Wednesday at the age of 56. “Just a devastating bit of news … He will be missed. It’s a terrible day.”
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) May 4, 2023
We join the NBA community in mourning the passing of Lance Blanks. We offer our sincere sympathies to Lance's family and friends during this time. pic.twitter.com/bKu3ZixEJp
— Detroit Pistons (@DetroitPistons) May 5, 2023
The Timberwolves and Minnesota fans were able to see Lance Blanks in action during the 1992-93 season. He excelled in so many roles throughout the league and we are grateful to have witnessed a small portion of his success. We express our deepest condolences to his family and all… pic.twitter.com/SDFM3HV2vi
— Minnesota Timberwolves (@Timberwolves) May 5, 2023
Statement from the Phoenix Suns on the passing of Lance Blanks.https://t.co/pxl8n75BU6 pic.twitter.com/59qIasbmzt
— Phoenix Suns (@Suns) May 5, 2023
Was very fortunate to share time with Lance Blanks 🙏🏻 pic.twitter.com/ABiWCyih2Z
— Pete Sousa (@peteysousa) May 5, 2023