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Lance Blanks, former Longhorn basketball standout, dies at 56

Blanks was an standout member of the iconic 1990 Longhorns basketball team that advanced to the Elite 8.

AUSTIN, Texas — Former University of Texas at Austin basketball standout and Longhorn Network analyst Lance Blanks died Wednesday at the age of 56.

Blanks was born in Del Rio, Texas, in 1966 and played high school basketball in The Woodlands, near Houston. He played collegiately at the University of Virginia for two seasons before transferring to UT in 1988 and spending two seasons in Austin.

Blanks was an eccentric and controversial member of the iconic 1990 Longhorns basketball team that advanced to the Elite 8 under the leadership of Blanks, Travis Mays and Joey Wright, collectively known as the "BMW Scoring Machine." Blanks' run with the Longhorns earned him induction into the Texas Longhorns Hall of Honor in 2007.

After a successful career at UT, Blanks was drafted 26th overall by the Detroit Pistons in 1990 and spent three seasons in the NBA with the Pistons and Minnesota Timberwolves before embarking on a 7-year career in Europe.

Upon returning to the U.S., Blanks served as a scout for the San Antonio Spurs and as assistant general manager for the Cleveland Cavaliers before earning a gig as general manager of the Phoenix Suns in 2010, a position he would hold until 2013.

Most recently, Blanks served as the on-air color commentator for Texas Men's Basketball games on the Longhorn Network.

Blanks is survived by his mother, Clarice; brother, Sidney Jr.; the mother of his two daughters, Renee; his daughters, Riley and Bryn; and his granddaughter, Isabel.

With 1,322 points, Blanks still holds the Longhorns record for the most points by a 2-year player, and ranks 22nd in career scoring.

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