Former Knicks star Dean "The Dream" Meminger was found dead in a Harlem hotel yesterday. Officials are now investigating the cause of the 65-year-old's death.
Cops say workers at the Hamilton Heights Hotel, located at 511 W. 145 Street, found Meminger's unconscious and unresponsive body around 11:40 a.m. Friday; officials arrived on the scene a few minutes later, and EMT workers pronounced Meminger dead at the scene. A hotel employee told DNAinfo that Meminger, who lived nearby, had checked in around 6 p.m.; when he didn't show up in the morning for his scheduled checkout, employees went to investigate, where they found him lying on top of the sheets. "I touched him and his skin was cold," a manager told DNAinfo. "He was foaming at the mouth." There were no signs of trauma, and the medical examiner is currently investigating the cause of death.
Meminger was a point guard for the Knicks in the early 1970s, and won a championship ring in 1973 after he helped lead the team to their NBA championship victory. "Everyone at the New York Knicks' organization is saddened to hear the news of Dean Meminger's passing," Knicks general manager Glen Grunwald said in a statement. "From the day he was drafted by this franchise in 1971, Dean was a friend and close family member of this team...We send our heartfelt condolences to the entire Meminger family."
Meminger also worked briefly as a basketball coach, working with teams like the New York Stars in the Women’s Basketball League, the Long Island Knights in the USBL and Manhattanville College. Meminger also had a public struggle with drug addiction, and in 2009 he was involved in a fire in a Bronx SRO; various reports pointed to crack pipes as the cause of the fire, although the NYPD denied those reports.
His son, also named Dean Meminger, is a criminal justice reporter at NY1. The family released a statement yesterday thanking everyone for their condolences. "Dean 'The Dream' Meminger touched the hearts of so many on and off the basketball court," the statement read. "Through basketball and education, he helped countless people around the country receive scholarships, high school and college admissions, and even employment. Dean 'The Dream' will be truly missed by his family, friends and fans."