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Darryl Dawkins dies at age 58

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The former 76ers star has passed away.

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Former NBA star Darryl Dawkins passed away at age 58 on Thursday morning, Lehigh Valley Hospital in Pennsylvania confirmed to SB Nation. Dawkins played 14 NBA seasons after being selected out of high school by the Philadelphia 76ers with the No. 5 pick in the 1975 NBA Draft.

Dawkins, nicknamed "Chocolate Thunder," was known for his incredible dunking ability. He famously shattered an NBA backboard with a dunk twice during the 1979 season, forcing the NBA to create a rule that called for a fine and suspension if it happened again.

Dawkins was allowed to enter the NBA out of high school through a hardship waiver. He played his first seven seasons in Philadelphia before being traded to the New Jersey Nets ahead of the 1982-83 campaign. Injuries cut short his NBA career, but he played in Italy through 1994 and briefly for the Harlem Globetrotters in 1995.

The 76ers issued a statement on Dawkins' passing:

Dawkins was tweeting about the Little League World Series and his dog a day before passing.