Former Georgia basketball player Lamar Heard, who served as one of the captains of the Bulldogs' 1983 Final Four team, died Thursday evening.
Heard died at the age of 55, although the cause of death was not immediately known.
During his Georgia career, Heard appeared in 119 games. At the time, he set program records for steals in a single game (six against Tennessee), in a season (81 in 1982-83) and in a career (149).
“Lamar did so many things and so many things well,” former Georgia head coach Hugh Durham said in a statement. “If we needed some to be point on the press, Lamar would be point on the press. If we needed someone to bring the ball up the floor, Lamar would bring the ball up the floor. If we needed someone to pass the ball, Lamar would pass the ball. He just did so many things.
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“He was a coaches’ player and in that I mean he did things that coaches would notice that maybe fans wouldn’t be aware of. Lamar was a very good player, and he made the players around him much better as well. And as good as he was on the floor, he was even a better person off the floor.”
Heard was a captain alongside Terry Fair and Derrick Floyd on the 1982-83 team. That season, which saw Georgia win the SEC Tournament and win the East Regional, Heard averaged 7.1 points and 6.6 rebounds per game.
Heard was tasked with guarding former North Carolina forward Sam Perkins in Georgia's Elite Eight game against the Tar Heels. Heard kept Perkins, who finished the game with 14 points, to only one shot attempt in the first half in Georgia's 82-77 win.
Durham said Heard was very much a family man who he will miss.
“When Lamar stepped across the line, he was like the glue for our team, particularly that team his senior year,” Durham said. “We had a lot of really good players on that team, and Lamar was one of them, but those other guys wouldn’t have been as good as they were without Lamar on the floor and in the locker room. That’s one of the things I’ll always remember about him.
“If you ask anyone who was the stud rebounder on that team, just about everyone would think about Terry Fair. I think Terry had something like 225 rebounds and Lamar has 224. (Fair actually had 224 and Heard had 223). Terry Fair was a beast, but if Terry Fair was a beast, what was Lamar Heard?”