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 Monday, May 22
Sealy dies in collision with pickup truck
 Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota Timberwolves swingman Malik Sealy was killed Saturday when his sport utility vehicle was hit head on by a pickup truck traveling the wrong way on a divided highway.

Malik Sealy

Sealy, 30, died of head and chest injuries after the 4 a.m. CDT crash on Highway 100 just north of a construction zone in suburban St. Louis Park.

He was on his way home after celebrating the 24th birthday of teammate Kevin Garnett, who had admired Sealy as a youth.

Timberwolves players and players' wives were at Sealy's home comforting his wife, Lisa, and young son, Malik Remington, said coach Flip Saunders and Kevin McHale, vice president of basketball operations.

Timberwolves' statement
on Sealy's death
The Minnesota Timberwolves organization is saddened by the tragic news of Malik Sealy's death.

Malik was a consummate professional, leader and respected teammate. He was a devoted husband and father, a leader in the locker room and a first-class ambassador for the team and the NBA.

Malik is survived by his wife Lisa, his son Malik Remington (Remi) and his parents, Sidney and Ann. Malik was 30 years old.

Kevin McHale, Timberwolves vice president of basketball operations: "This is a sudden and devastating loss to our team. We're in shock. Malik was one of the most popular players in our locker room and one of the biggest reasons behind our turnaround and success this past season on the court. But above and beyond basketball, everyone admired Malik for the special person that he was. My heart goes out to Lisa and Malik's entire family."

Flip Saunders, Timberwolves head coach and general manager: "Words can't express the loss that I feel today. Malik was a wonderful person who touched everybody in a special way. We are a tight-knit family and we are suffering right now -- this is one of the worst possible things that can happen to an organization. This will affect us for a long, long time."

"This is a sudden and devastating loss to our team," McHale said. "We're in shock. Malik was one of the most popular players in our locker room, and one of the biggest reasons behind our turnaround and success this past season on the court."

A moment of silence was observed at the opener of the Western Conference finals between the Portland Trail Blazers and the Lakers in Los Angeles.

"Malik Sealy was a stellar contributor to the NBA, his team and his community," NBA commissioner David Stern said. "This is a tragic day for the NBA family and we extend our sympathy and prayers to his family."

At a news conference, team president Rob Moor called Sealy a "unique individual."

"His sense of humor is what I'll remember more than anything. His off-the-cuff comments; he could take you by surprise and say the most wonderful things at the perfect time. That's something we'll certainly miss," Moor said.

Added Saunders: "Words can't express the loss that I feel today. Malik was a wonderful person who touched everybody in a special way."

Donnie Walsh, president of the Indiana Pacers, the team that chose Sealy in the first round of the 1992 NBA draft, remembered him as "a tremendous performer and a true gentleman."

The pickup driver, Souksangouane Phengsene, 43, was traveling north in the southbound lane, the patrol said. He was hospitalized in satisfactory condition with head and chest injuries.

Neither accident victim was wearing a seatbelt, police said. An airbag deployed in the truck. Sealy's sport utility vehicle didn't have an airbag.

Authorities had not talked to Phengsene by Saturday night, so the investigation was still in its early stages, said Capt. Al Smith of the state patrol.

Sealy, Garnett and at least one other player had a late dinner at the Monte Carlo Bar & Cafe in downtown Minneapolis late Friday night, said manager Tony Rimarcik. He said a group of about six or seven people had gathered in a separate room, and left the restaurant just before 1 a.m.

Sealy is the second NBA player killed in a traffic accident this year. Charlotte Hornets guard Bobby Phills died after a crash on Jan. 12, when he and teammate David Wesley were racing their Porsches at more than 100 mph after a morning practice.

Sealy was involved in a car accident on his way to practice during his first season with the Timberwolves and needed 20 stitches to close a cut on his forehead.

Sealy had just finished his eighth NBA season and his second with the Timberwolves. He averaged 11.3 points in the regular season and 12.5 in the playoffs as Minnesota was eliminated in four games in the first round by Portland. He played in every regular season and playoff game.

His season was notable for the way he improved his shooting percentage, making more than 50 percent of his shots over the first half of the season -- a rarity for an NBA guard -- before finishing at 47.6 percent. He had never shot better than 43.5 percent in his first seven seasons.

Sealy, who also played in the NBA for Indiana, the Los Angeles Clippers and Detroit, grew up in New York and starred at St. John's, where he was the school's second-leading career scorer behind Chris Mullin when he left following his senior season in 1992.

"We will long remember Malik, not only for his outstanding ability on the basketball court, but also for his gentleness and strength of character in our classrooms and throughout our campus," said the Rev. Donald J. Harrington, president of St. John's.

As a high school senior, Sealy led Tolentine to a No. 1 national ranking and the New York state championship.

Garnett once said Sealy had been one of his favorite players while Sealy was playing at St. John's and Garnett was an eighth-grader in Mauldin, S.C. He even wore Sealy's No. 21 that year.

"I wasn't the most confident guy at that time, and I was trying to find someone who was another me. Not the best player, but someone who played like me," Garnett said in January 1999. "With Malik, I just related to his body."

Sealy also was an actor and sold a line of ties and clothing through Malik Sealy XXI Inc. While playing with the Clippers, he appeared on such TV shows as "The Sentinel" and "Diagnosis: Murder," and in the film "Eddie."

Besides his wife and son, he is survived by his parents, Sidney and Ann Sealy.

His father was a bodyguard for slain civil rights leader Malcolm X. Sidney Sealy named Malik after one of Malcolm X's Muslim names.


Wrong-way driver arrested; T-Wolves mourn Sealy

Driver who struck Sealy has history of drunken driving

Hometown joins NBA in mourning Hornets' Phills

 Flip Saunders says Malik Sealy will be missed but, never forgotten.
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 Police Commander Al Smith describes how the crash occurred.
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 T-Wolves President Rob Moor says the organization is in shock about Sealy's death.
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