Today in Sports History: February 17th

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(Bechler's death took this off the market. Photo by Chris Hondros, Getty Images)

2/17/2001 - Davis sinks 89-footer

Happy anniversary Baron Davis. It was on this day in 2001 that you, then playing for the Charlotte Hornets, ended the third quarter of a game in Milwaukee with an 89-foot three-pointer -- the longest shot in NBA history. It surpassed a 24 year-old mark set by Norm Van Lier, who made an 84-footer back in 1977. Keep in mind that a basketball court is 94 feet in length.

Milwaukee got the last laugh though. The Bucks and Hornets met in the semifinals that year and the Bucks narrowly defeated Charlotte in seven games. Milwaukee then advanced to the conference finals, where they took the Philadelphia 76ers to the NBA Finals before losing.

2/17/2003 - Bechler dies after Ephedra use

Steve Bechler, a 23 year-old pitcher trying to earn a spot on the Baltimore Orioles' roster, collapses during a team workout. Bechler was rushed to a local Florida hospital, but with a temperature of 108 degrees, he dies after suffering multiple organ failure and heatstroke. His death was largely blamed on the herbal supplement Ephedra, a diet pill that he had taken minutes before his collapse; the supplement was known for causing many serious side effects such as heart failure.

Bechler's death occurred shortly after the death of NFL player Korey Stringer, who also died of heatstroke and was also known to take ephedrine (though there was none in his system when he died). Stringer's death led to the NFL's banishment of the product, and Bechler's death had the same result in baseball. With multiple athlete deaths at least partially attributable to the supplement, an effort was spearheaded to outlaw it in the United States. In April 2004, the FDA banned the sale of products containing Ephedra.

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