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NBA legend Darryl Dawkins has passed away at the age of 58.

Darryl Dawkins

It’s been said that what Babe Ruth was to the home run, Dawkins was to the slam dunk.

After becoming the first player to be drafted right out of high school in 1975, Dawkins became a fan favorite due to his flamboyant style of play.

Dawkins famously broke two backboards with his earth-shattering dunks in 1979, leading the league to adopt break away rims shortly thereafter.

His 14-year NBA career ended in 1989, but Dawkins continued playing professionally until 2000, even wowing fans for one season as a Harlem Globetrotter in the mid-90s.

Nicknamed "Chocolate Thunder" as a result of his prodigious presence on the court, Dawkins started his career with the 76ers before moving on to the Nets, Jazz and Pistons.

He averaged double-digit points per game in 9 of his 14 seasons.

Dawkins became a trailblazer and a crusader for equal rights when he spoke openly about the racism that he and fellow players such as Julius Erving encountered in the 1970s and ’80s.

He remained a popular media figure throughout his retirement and was named "Man of the Millennium" in a 1999 Saturday Night Live sketch.

Dawkins leaves behind a wife and three children.

At this time, no cause of death has been given.