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NBA Star, 'Survivor' Contestant Cliff Robinson Dead at 53

NBA Star, 'Survivor' Contestant Cliff Robinson Dead at 53
CBS

Cliff Robinson, the 6'10" NBA All-Star who competed on "Survivor," has died at 53, his alma mater confirmed.

No cause was given, though he suffered a stroke in 2017 and has twice had cancer surgery.

Robinson was a star basketball player at UConn from 1985-1989. The school remembered him in a tweet, writing, "The UConn Basketball family mourns the loss of a legendary player and person, Clifford Robinson. Our thoughts and prayers are with Cliff’s family at this difficult time 🙏 Rest In Peace, Cliff."

Known as "Uncle Cliffy" (for a creative victory dance he invented), he was the 36th NBA draft pick in the second round by the Portland Trail Blazers in 1989, playing for the team for eight seasons. When Robinson was with the team, they made it to the playoffs every year, and to two NBA finals.

A 1994 All-Star, he later played for the Detroit Pistons, the Golden State Warriors, the New Jersey Nets, and the Phoenix Suns.

Fellow basketball star Scottie Pippen remembered Robinson as a pleasure to compete against, tweeting, "I'm heartbroken to look back at this moment. Cliff Robinson was so important to his #Blazers teams and I always enjoyed competing against him. Another brother who left us long before his time. You'll be missed, Uncle Cliffy. RIP @UncleCliffy30 @trailblazers."

After his retirement from the game, Robinson battled it out on Season 28 of "Survivor."

He is survived by his wife, Heather Lufkins, and their son, Isaiah.

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