It is always tragic news to hear about the passing of one of your childhood heros. It appears that the Atlanta Hawks recently lost a beloved member of their family and organization.
Please join us in remembering the life of star Atlanta Hawks Forward John Drew.
John Drew passed away on April 10, 2022 after a battle with bone cancer. He was 67.
A small forward from Gardner–Webb University, he averaged 24.4 points during his freshman year, before improving to 25.9 points and 13 rebounds as a sophomore. Drew was selected in the 2nd round of the 1974 NBA draft by the Atlanta Hawks, where he quickly made an impact averaging 18.5 points per game, 10.7 rebounds per game, and leading the NBA in offensive rebounding during his rookie season. He was consequently named to the NBA All-Rookie Team.
After being traded by Atlanta for Dominique Wilkins, Drew played three seasons (1982–1985) with the Utah Jazz, retiring with 15,291 career points. He joined Artis Gilmore and Eddie Lee Wilkins as the only alumni of Gardner–Webb University to play in the NBA. Drew played eleven seasons total in the NBA, and he was a two-time All-Star.
Notably, Drew battled cocaine addiction during his professional basketball career. He was the first player banned and one of the earliest casualties of the modern NBA drug policy instituted by league commissioner David Stern.
Drew’s legacy and memory will not be forgotten. Let’s just remember to cherish those we still have left in our lives.