Dedric Willoughby, a member of the Iowa State Hall of Fame and one of the best shooters in Cyclone men’s basketball history, died on July 19, 2023 at the age of 49.
Willoughby only played at Iowa State for two seasons. Willoughby began his career at New Orleans under future Cyclone head coach Tim Floyd, but he transferred to Iowa State before the 1995-96 season after Floyd got the position at Iowa State in 1994.
During this difficult time, we extend our condolences to Dedric Willoughby’s family and friends. Continue reading to learn more about Dedric Willoughby and his death.
Who Was Dedric Willoughby?
Dedric Demond Willoughby was a professional basketball player from the United States. Willoughby, a 6’3″ guard, began his undergraduate career at the University of New Orleans before moving to Iowa State.
At both schools, he was coached by Tim Floyd. Willoughby finished second in the Big 12 Conference Player of the Year voting in both of his seasons at Iowa State. As a senior, he averaged 18.9 points per game and made 45% of his three-point attempts.
Willoughby with outstanding teammates Kelvin Cato, Kenny Pratt, Shawn Bankhead, and Jacy Holloway led the Cyclones to second place in the Big Eight Conference (9-5) despite being predicted to finish last in the final season of the Big Eight Conference.
As the Big Eight Newcomer of the Year in 1996, Willoughby led the club to its first-ever Big Eight Conference postseason tournament triumph. Willoughby calmly sank two critical free throws in the final seconds of the Big Eight Tournament championship game, helping the Cyclones overcome No. 5 Kansas 56-55. He won the tournament MVP award.
Willoughby’s senior year (1996-1997) saw the Cyclones finish near the top of the league standings once more, finishing tied for third in the Big 12’s debut season with a 10-6 record. They also rose to No. 4 in the Associated Press poll. Willoughby is well-known for his smooth jump shot. He was extremely accurate and had a quick release, shooting 190 three-pointers in his career at a roughly 40% clip.
Willoughby’s nine 3-pointers against No. 1 Kansas in Hilton Coliseum in 1997 served as the institution’s standard for many years. During his senior year, he made 102 3-pointers, which is still an ISU single-season record. Iowa State advanced to the NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen in Willoughby’s final season.
Willoughby scored 34 points and made eight 3-pointers in his final game for the Cyclones, who fell to UCLA 74-73 on a last-second shot, losing out on a trip to the Elite Eight.
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His 34 points against UCLA were the most ever scored by a Cyclone in an NCAA Tournament game. Willoughby was chosen to Basketball Times’ Second Team All-Americans in 1997.
He was the only Cyclone player in history to score 1,000 points (1,186) in just two seasons. Willoughby, who had previously played professionally in Italy, was picked by the Chicago Bulls for the 1999-2000 NBA season and reunited with coach Tim Floyd.
He appeared in 25 games that season, including one start, and averaged 7.6 points. For the next season, Willoughby joined the Sydney Kings of the Australian National Basketball League.
He did, however, suffer a knee injury during practice and was shortly dismissed. Willoughby went on to coach basketball for the All-Iowa Attack youth league in Ames, Iowa.
Dedric Willoughby Cause of Death
We regret to tell you that Dedric Willoughby died on July 19, 2023. Dedric Willoughby was thought to have a pleasant personality. Given the recent news, many people must be inquisitive about Dedric Willoughby’s cause of death.
Dedric Willoughby, an Iowa State All-Century men’s basketball player, died after a heart attack. He passed away while playing basketball.
From 1995 to 1997, he was a point guard for the Cyclones under Tim Floyd, and he later played for Floyd with the Chicago Bulls. Willoughby died while playing pick-up basketball near his house in Atlanta.
Floyd, who confirmed Willoughby died of a heart attack, said, “Dedric just meant so much to my coaching career and our team.”
“He had one of the quickest releases of his shot of anyone I coached – in college or in the pros. Incredible intensity. He had an uncanny ability to get his 3-point shot off as quick as anyone I saw.”
How Did Dedric Willoughby Die?
Dedric Willoughby, a former American professional basketball player, died abruptly on Thursday, July 20, 2023, at the age of 49.
Iowa State University said in a statement announcing Willoughby’s death:
Dedric Willoughby, an Iowa State Hall-of-Famer and one of the greatest shooters in Cyclone men’s basketball history, died yesterday at the age of 49.
We'll never forget you, Dedric.
Rest in Peace, Dedric Willoughby. pic.twitter.com/sVAfC6ceo6
— Iowa State Men’s Basketball (@CycloneMBB) July 20, 2023
Iowa State Men’s Basketball also paid tribute to the legend on Facebook.
Willoughby was inducted into Iowa State’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2012. In 2008, he was named to the Cyclones’ men’s basketball All-Century squad.
Willoughby is recognized as one of the top shooters in Cyclone men’s basketball history. In each of his two seasons with the Iowa State team, he was nominated to the conference first team and led the team in scoring.
According to the family, Dedric Willoughby’s burial plans will be made public at a later date. This indicates that the family is preparing and will provide the necessary details regarding his death and the scheduled funeral service as soon as feasible.
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Tributes Paid to Dedric Willoughby
Dedric Willoughby’s death has elicited an outpouring of condolences for the Willoughby family from the basketball world and beyond.
Amanda Brink Hull wrote, “My heart is breaking for Iowa and ISU fans (and these two athletes’ families) this week. Saturday, former Iowa Hawkeyes football player Cody Ince (age 23) was found dead in his home; cause unknown. And now (this just in) former Iowa State basketball star and Hall of Famer Dedric Willoughby (age 49) died last night of a heart attack while playing in a pickup basketball game near his neighborhood. Sad. Very very sad. 23 or 49; both way too young.“
Abdul Williams wrote, “I lost a close friend yesterday and it hurt me to my soul to know we was just at my house chilling and drinking a beer together while I was jailbreaking your firestick means a lot to me but to know u no longer with me bro hurts so much… R.I.H my bro Dedric Willoughby (Shooter)”
Losing a loved one is one of the most difficult things someone can go through in life. Any journey must finish with a destination. The person’s time on Earth has sadly ended now that they have died. We wish him eternal peace and express our condolences and prayers to his family and friends.