KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT/SUBMITTED) -- Former Tennessee basketball standout Dyron Nix passed away Sunday in Atlanta. He was 46.
Nix starred for the Volunteers and head coach Don DeVoe from 1986-89 and was a two-time first-team All-SEC performer (1988, 1989). He ranks eighth on Tennessee’s all-time scoring list with 1,877 career points.
“It’s shocking and saddening news,” current UT head coach Cuonzo Martin said. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to Dyron’s family and former teammates. This is a sad day for the Tennessee basketball family.
“I had gotten to know Dyron the past couple years – he actually was a part of our golf tournament back in September. Seeing him interact with his former Tennessee teammates, it’s clear how much they loved and respected him.”
A native of Fort Walton Beach, Fla., Nix averaged 16.6 points and 8.4 rebounds in 113 games. He was the SEC scoring champion in 1988, averaging 22.2 points per game.
“Dyron was a very talented young man and an extremely confident player,” DeVoe said. “He was just an absolutely strong and powerful inside player. I don’t think I ever coached anyone who was so strong in being able to take the ball up and dunk it. He had these powerful legs and strong arms and hands, and he was just quick as a cat at getting above the rim and slamming the ball.
“He came from a great family and had a fine high school coach. So he came to us well prepared to be a Division I basketball player. And over time he developed into a pretty strong pro prospect.
“He made no bones about the fact that he wanted to be a great player, and he was always ready to play.”
Nix averaged a double-double as a sophomore in 1987 (14.1 ppg, SEC-best 10.1 rpg). His 34 career double-doubles are the fourth-most in school history.
The 6-7, 210-pound forward posted eight 30-point games as a Vol and scored a career-high 40 points during a season-opening home win over Tennessee Tech on Nov. 25, 1988.
Also an outstanding shot-blocker, Nix swatted 142 shots during his UT career. That total ranks fourth on UT’s career list.
The Charlotte Hornets selected Nix in the second round of the 1989 NBA Draft, and he played two seasons in the league with the Indiana Pacers. He also played multiple professional seasons overseas.
In 2009, Nix was selected to the Tennessee Basketball All-Century Team.
Funeral arrangements are pending.