DePaul Basketball Player Curtis Watkins Dies

CHICAGO - Curtis Watkins, a member of DePaul's 1979 NCAA Final Four men's basketball team, died Monday night at the age of 51.

Watkins died of a blocked artery at his home in suburban Harvey.

Watkins, a Harvey native from Thornton High School, played a key role in the Blue Demons success in the late 1970's. In his four years, Watkins played on DePaul teams that went 88-30 and made three appearances in the NCAA tournament.

Curtis ranks 10th on the DePaul's all-time scoring list (1,463 points) and is ninth in rebounds (810) in the school's history. He is one of only seven players to have scored at least 1,000 points and 800 rebounds at DePaul. Watkins shot 84% from the free throw line for his career.

Watkins is remembered for his 24 point performance in the 1979 NCAA tournament in Provo, Utah as the Blue Demons advanced to the Final Four by triumphing past the UCLA Bruins 95-91. He also recorded 27 points in a 89-78 first round victory over USC and 19 points and 9 rebounds in a second round win over Marquette.

He was named honorable mention All-America after his senior year. Watkins was the 17th selection in the fifth round of the 1979 NBA Draft and was chosen by the Kansas City Kings.

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