Atlanta Hawks: Former Hawks All-Star Dan Roundfield drowns in Aruba




Former Hawks All-Star Dan Roundfield drowned yesterday off the coast of Aruba.

According to reports, Roundfield’s wife became distressed while swimming off of Baby Beach and Roundfield tried to assist her. The Aruba Herald reported that witnesses saw the woman return to shore but that Roundfield was taken out to sea. Authorities found Roundfield’s body under some rocks, the Herald reported.

A police spokesman in Aruba told the Associated Press that Roundfield and his wife went beyond a protected reef area and got caught up in rough waters. The couple were vacationing at the Renaissance Resort.

“It’s a real tragedy,” the spokesman, John Larmonie, told the AP. “He drowned saving his wife.”

Roundfield’s sister-in-law, Julia Roundfield, also confirmed his death to the AP.

“He was a real sweet guy,” Julia Roundfield told the AP. “He really was a sweetheart.”

Roundfield’s survivors include his wife, Bernie, sons Corey and Christopher, and their grandchildren.

Roundfield, 59, played six seasons for the Hawks from 1978-79 to 1983-84. He was named to All-Star teams in 1980, ‘81 and ‘82 and was second-team All-NBA in 1979-80. Roundfield also was voted to the All-Defensive team in five of his 12 NBA seasons.

In a 2006 interview with the Hawks’ Web site, Roundfield said he worked in marketing for an environmental engineering company. He said his favorite NBA memories included making the playoffs in his first season with the Hawks and playing alongside Hawks legend Dominique Wilkins.

The 1978-79 Hawks, coached by Hubie Brown, earned the franchise’s first playoff series victory since 1969-70 by defeating Houston. The Hawks lost a seven-game series to the Washington Bullets in the conference semifinals; Roundfield, in the Website interview, said the Hawks “probably should have beat” the Bullets.

“Danny was the most honest and upfront person I knew, and I’m very stunned at hearing the news of his death,” Wilkins, now a Hawks vice president, said in a statement released by the team. “Danny’s one of my closest friends and he was a tremendous influence on my NBA career, on and off the court. He taught me how to be a professional and took me under his wing. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family, I will truly miss him.”

Danny Solomon, a Hawks ball boy during Roundfield’s final season with the Hawks, said Roundfield still lived in the Atlanta area. Solomon said Roundfield was “the nicest dude in the world,” a personality that contrasted with his physical playing style.

“Strong as an ox,” Solomon said. “Back then, all the centers were very, very strong. That’s back when it was ‘real’ basketball and if you tried to go to the hole against a guy like Roundfield, you would go straight down to the floor. He was known for being really rough. He was a stud down low.”

The Cavaliers selected Roundfield in the second round of the 1975 draft after the Detroit native starred at Central Michigan University. The Hawks signed Roundfield as a free agent before the 1978-79 season. In the summer of 1984 Atlanta traded Roundfield to the Pistons for Cliff Levingston, Antoine Carr and two draft picks.

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299 comments Add your comment

Nas

August 7th, 2012
10:50 am

R.I.P if true

Melvin

August 7th, 2012
10:53 am

Rob

August 7th, 2012
10:58 am

He was one of my favorites when I was a kid. Sad news, rest in peace.

Sam

August 7th, 2012
10:58 am

How is the wife? Did no one see where he went under? What happened during that hour? Why did it take an hour to find his body?

Lots of unanswered questions come to mind. Guess we’ll just have to wait to find out everything that happened with this story.

i_am_soulstar

August 7th, 2012
10:59 am

Sam

August 7th, 2012
10:59 am

Funky Bobby J

August 7th, 2012
11:00 am

So sad – one of my favorite Hawks. I still remember a game where he had to play center against Kareem due to injuries. RIP Danny!

AnotherGM

August 7th, 2012
11:01 am

My favorite Hawk of all time. Sad News

Astro Joe

August 7th, 2012
11:07 am

Very sad news. Talk about a guy who played with heart and grit. He never had one of those “bad effort” games. My prayers go out to his family.

Astro Joe

August 7th, 2012
11:11 am

Rick

August 7th, 2012
11:18 am

I guess the Angels needed a scoring small forward? RIP Dan! Prayers for his family.

Paddy

August 7th, 2012
11:20 am

My thoughts are with the family. Very sad news!

The Truth

August 7th, 2012
11:23 am

“The report said Roundfield’s wife became distressed while swimming at Baby Beach and Roundfield tried to assist her”

So Sad, There’s too many questions here. Hopefully more answers will come later.

Dawglasville

August 7th, 2012
11:27 am

Very sad. His name is never mentioned when we talk about great players in this city. A true warrior. One of the greatest bangers of all time. Lunch pail and hard hat guy. Someone that fans could relate to. Not surprised he died like that. The man played with courage and sacrificied it all on the court. Prayers for his family.

Buddy Grizzard

August 7th, 2012
11:29 am

RIP Dan Roundfield… that is terrible news.

FTPB:

“Sautee, I think Buddy is trying to find content for his new blog and isn’t going to let logic stop him from his quest.”

That’s funny… I haven’t posted any speculation on my blog about Ferry coaching the Hawks. Guess I need to get to work on that post since I’m trying to “find content.”

“Ferry has ZERO coaching experience.”

Still waiting for you to answer the question Sautee… how much coaching experience did Mark Jackson have? The precedent is there for former NBA players with no coaching experience to get hired as NBA head coaches. The precedent is there (Popovich) for an NBA executive to name himself coach. If Ferry decides to fire Drew mid-season, ASG is not going to want to pay two coaches. Logically, that makes Atkinson and Ferry the most likely candidates as interim coaches. Does Ferry have any desire to coach? I have no idea. I do know that he played for two of the greatest coaches in the history of the sport: Coach K and Pop.

JefferyAnderson7

August 7th, 2012
11:33 am

A true rebounding machine who gave it his all everynight. RIP Rounds!!

TDone

August 7th, 2012
11:40 am

The best player on some of the best Hawks teams. RIP…

JCS

August 7th, 2012
11:41 am

I have had the pleasure of getting to know Dan over the past several years through work. He was always the friendliest, low-key, down to earth guy. Obviously his size, height commanded attention but he had a very self depricating manner. I’m gonna miss getting to chat with Doctor Rounds. He was one of my favorites, too.

Tampa Gator

August 7th, 2012
11:41 am

My wife and I had the pleasure of meeting Dan and his wife at a coffee house that used to be right next to the Fox Theater (not sure if it is still there). He and his wife were sitting at the table right next to us….after watching a play at the Fox. He initiated a conversation with us and his wife was exceptionally nice. We did not know who he was at first….but I was thinking that he was very tall. He was a very down to earth person, and very intelligent. So was his wife. This is very sad news to read.

Tampa Gator

August 7th, 2012
11:45 am

I believe that Eddie Johnson (life went downhill quickly after his NBA career), Armand Hill (who dated a co-worker in our company for a while), and Tree Rollins (Cordele High grad) were on that good Hawks team with Roundfield and Wilkins.

Mike is Back

August 7th, 2012
11:45 am

WOW, huge loss…great person!!

The Ghost of Bob Few

August 7th, 2012
11:50 am

He was one of my all time favorite Hawks player. RIP

Jj

August 7th, 2012
11:53 am

Sat behind Dan at a Falcons game once. He talked football with everyone around him, never appearing to even care that he was sports royalty among the masses. A fine man. Rest in Peace, Mr. Roundfield.

Big D

August 7th, 2012
11:55 am

RIP to a classy guy and good player. I used to watch him on TBS.

Robert

August 7th, 2012
11:56 am

I hate this. What a great player for the Hawks. I used to see him quite often at the Harry’s in Alpharetta but never did talk to him. I regret that I never told him how much I enjoyed watching him play.

Sautee

August 7th, 2012
11:57 am

Buddy, I assumed it was a rhetorical question, since most of the sporting world is aware of Jackson’s lack of bench time. But what of it? Jackson clearly let it be known that he coveted a coaching job. Ferry has never, to my knowledge, had any interest in coaching.

Except in someone’s imagination. Like I said, I’ll buy you a pitcher if you are correct.

don

August 7th, 2012
11:58 am

A real man in a league full of spoiled brats and street punks.

Jim S.

August 7th, 2012
11:59 am

Rest in Peace Dan. I loved those teams in the 80s and loved Roundfield out there with Nique’, Fast Eddie, and the crew back then. As some others have indicated, Mr. Roundfield should be mentioned more often when talking about great sports figures in this town.

Of course I have plenty of questions about the described circumstances of his death. I wish the best for his family and friends during this difficult time.

Bill

August 7th, 2012
12:00 pm

Very sorry to hear this. I remember watching him in a playoff game on TV. In fact I think Skip Cary was doing the broadcast.

One of my favorite Hawks. RIP Danny.

Bernie

August 7th, 2012
12:00 pm

There is really something strange in the water around that Particular Beach….as well as that Island.

Ra'mon

August 7th, 2012
12:03 pm

Sad to hear. Very sad.

AJ – I must ask. Out of Ivan, D. Blair, and Benson, which two bigs would you prefer the Hawks to have?

AP

August 7th, 2012
12:04 pm

So sad…as a kid growing up in ATL area used to love going to Hawks games to watch Rounds and John Drew, Rollins, EJ and Hill play. Roundfield brought it every night and was a real professional! RIP big man.

MyPatootie

August 7th, 2012
12:05 pm

***TampaGator**** Wasn’t Spud Webb on those teams during Roundfield’s tenure also? This article does not mention any children, so guess there were none, or they were grown. RIP DR

Real DJ

August 7th, 2012
12:06 pm

A great Atlanta Hawk and fine individual. This guy knew how to represent.

DHD

August 7th, 2012
12:07 pm

Why do people say silly stuff about what angels or God must have needed?

RIP, Dan Roundfield. He was a great one.

Baddabing

August 7th, 2012
12:08 pm

Sad news. Dan was a good guy, very approachable. He was one of the best players for the Hawks when they had a good team. Used to see him every now and again around town, nice guy.

RIP Dan Roundfield

August 7th, 2012
12:10 pm

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Stuart

August 7th, 2012
12:11 pm

Roundfield was a great player for the franchise. Often played banged up but was considered on of the best power forwards in the game at that time. You also didn’t read a bad thing about him. RIP Dan.

Ben

August 7th, 2012
12:12 pm

Damn man,
I went to school with his son Corey. This is horrible news, blessings and prayers to the Roundfield family

Phil

August 7th, 2012
12:15 pm

Saw Dan and his high school classmate, ex-Hawk James McElroy play high school ball in Detroit when I was in junior high school. So sad to hear that he drowned.

Paul

August 7th, 2012
12:17 pm

Man. That’s a shocker. What a player. He played when basketball was a true man’s game. And he brought it.

kirkinga

August 7th, 2012
12:17 pm

He went out a hero. R.I.P. Dan.

(What a great trade for the Hawks back in the day)

Ken Strickland

August 7th, 2012
12:20 pm

DISCIPLINE, GRACE, AND PROFESSIONALISM, are what defined Dan Roundfield both on and off the court. RIP great warrior.

Kimberly

August 7th, 2012
12:20 pm

I had the absolute pleasure of meeting and working with Danny over the last 3+ years. He was a very kind, caring and compassionate person. He never had a bad word to say and always brought a smile with him. May he rest in peace. And may his family find comfort in knowing that his love and spirit will be with them always. Soar on the wings of angels now Danny.

Scott A

August 7th, 2012
12:26 pm

I was such a fan of those Hawks with Dan Roundfield, Dominique, John Drew, Charlie Criss, etc. Rest in peace Dan. Thank you for the memories.

hawksfancents95

August 7th, 2012
12:27 pm

R.I.P Mr. Roundfield

High-sider

August 7th, 2012
12:27 pm

This is very sad and terrible news. I remember Dan Roundfield playing for the Hawks in the early 1980’s prior to Dominique Wilkins joining the team.

terrell

August 7th, 2012
12:27 pm

That was a good trade for the Hawks at the time. RIP.

Monroe's First Redcoat

August 7th, 2012
12:28 pm

Hate t hear of this. Roundfield was my favorite hawk back in the day – his shot-blocking ability was one of the best in the league, and he was as solid a player as you could find. That he died trying to sve another person is testament to his character. God Bless, Dan. Well done.

yoursporthousedotcom

August 7th, 2012
12:32 pm

This is a sad day for real Hawks fans. Rounds was a beast in the paint. Shouts out to his son Corey and his family. I hope they can somehow find solace during this tragic event.