weather icon Clear

Ex-Rebel Richardson dies

Former UNLV basketball player Chris Richardson died in his sleep this morning in Sasebo, Japan, where he was touring with the Harlem Globetrotters.

Richardson, 28, played for the Rebels from 1998 to 2002. The cause of his death was not determined, but it was believed to be of natural causes, according to a Globetrotters spokesman.

“That’s just really unbelievable,” said Charlie Spoonhour, who coached Richardson during his senior season at UNLV in 2001-02. “It just shocks me. It makes me sad.

“I can never think of Chris of having any health problems. That’s one of those things you don’t expect. It should make us all appreciate every day and not take anything for granted.”

Richardson played in the UNLV Alumni/Legends Game at the Thomas & Mack Center on Nov. 11. He scored 15 points and showed off the dunking ability that he was known for in college.

He was associated with the Globetrotters for several years, and was on the team’s annual holiday tour of American military bases throughout Asia.

“Chris was a wonderful young man who loved life and loved being a Globetrotter,” Globetrotters CEO Kurt Schneider said. “The entire Globetrotter family is heartbroken by his passing, and our thoughts and prayers are with his mother, Brenda, and his children.”

A native of Corpus Christi, Texas, the 6-foot-7-inch Richardson was recruited to UNLV by former coach Bill Bayno and he played his final year for Spoonhour.

Richardson was part of the Rebels team in 1999-2000 that won the Mountain West Conference Tournament and reached the NCAA Tournament.

He played in 103 games and started 34 in his UNLV career, averaging 5.4 points and 3.5 rebounds.

As a senior, Richardson started 31 of 32 games and averaged 9.1 points and 5.3 rebounds as the Rebels finished 21-11.

“He was one of our captains, and he was a good guy,” Spoonhour said. “He was a really good guy to coach.”

Richardson, nicknamed “Flash,” made his home in Las Vegas.

“Still playing basketball and getting paid to travel the world,” he told the Review-Journal after the Alumni/Legends Game. “I couldn’t ask for anything more.”

According to the Globetrotters, Richardson took part in community activities and was active with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Boys & Girls Clubs and adoption agencies.

More details, including memorial service information, will be announced when available.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Americans say focus on asteroids, robots over Mars trip

Americans prefer a space program that focuses on potential asteroid impacts, scientific research and using robots over sending humans to the moon or on to Mars, a poll shows.

Supreme Court says longstanding cross on public land in Maryland OK

A World War I memorial in the shape of a 40-foot-tall cross can continue to stand on public land in Maryland, the Supreme Court ruled Thursday in an important decision about the use of religious symbols in American life.

Animated videos: Boy Scouts’ new tactic to fight sex abuse

Under financial pressure from sex-abuse litigation, the Boy Scouts of America are seeking to bolster their abuse-prevention efforts with a new awareness program featuring cartoon-style videos that will be provided to more than 1.2 million Cub Scouts across the nation.

Growing movement shuns air travel due to high carbon cost

A small, but growing movement in Europe and North America is shunning air travel because it produces high levels of greenhouse gas emissions.

Trump gives mixed signals on Iran’s downing of US drone

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard shot down a U.S. drone on Thursday amid heightened tensions between Tehran and Washington over the collapsing nuclear deal with world powers.

Baby California condor spotted in northern Arizona

A baby California condor has been spotted in far northern Arizona. The Peregrine Fund says one of its biologists confirmed the nestling last week at Vermilion Cliffs National Monument.