Thursday, July 04, 2002

Memorial service for Derrek Dickey Saturday

He excelled with Purcell, UC, NBA

By Rebecca Billman,
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        A memorial service for former UC and NBA basketball star Derrek Dickey will be Saturday at his alma mater, Purcell Marian High School.

        A key player for the Golden State Warriors when the team won the 1975 National Basketball Association championship, Mr. Dickey died June 25 of heart failure at his home in Sacramento, Calif. He was 51.

        He played professional ball from 1973 to 1978, then spent seven years as color commentator for the University of Cincinnati. Later he was analyst for the Sacramento Kings and the Chicago Bulls, and covered college games for Fox, ESPN and CBS.

        The 6-foot-8 Mr. Dickey graduated from Purcell (now Purcell Marian) High School, where he was the top scorer in the city in 1969. He went on to UC, where he ranks 15th on the all-time scoring list. He held the record for highest field-goal percentage in an NBA finals (73.9 percent).

        He suffered a stroke in 1997, losing the use of his left arm and leg. While in intensive care, he proposed to Sally Simonds. They married the following year. Ms. Simonds helped him with his rehabilitation.

        Mr. Dickey recovered enough to became a volunteer for the stroke division of the American Heart Association and the Disability Advisory Committee in Sacramento.

        In March, he came to Cincinnati to speak before the Humana Heart Mini-Marathon.

        Although he used a wheelchair, Mr. Dickey regained his ability to walk unaided and was able to return to broadcasting for the Bulls.

        He loved to write poetry, cook (he was trained in French classical cooking) and entertain family and friends. He also enjoyed golf, racquetball and tennis.

        His mother, Ola Dickey of Kennedy Heights, said he was a “gentleman's gentleman” with a “humble demeanor and quiet smile.”

        In addition to his wife, survivors include two sons, Derrek Jr. and David; a daughter, Dana; his father, John of Kennedy Heights; a sister, Debbie Dickey-Gilbert of Dallas; and three grandchildren.

        Mr. Dickey's remains were interred in Sacramento. The memorial service will be at 3 p.m. Saturday at Purcell Marian, 2935 Hackberry St., East Walnut Hills.

        Memorials: Purcell Marian High School Scholarship Fund, 2935 Hackberry St., Cincinnati, OH 45206.


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