Abdul Jeelani, American basketball player, Died at 62


Abdul Qadir Jeelani, birth-name Gary Cole was born on February 10, 1954, in Bells, Tennessee and died on August 3, 2016.

He was an American professional basketball player.

Abdul was a 6’8″ and 210 lb small forward and played collegiately at the University of Wisconsin–Parkside.

Jeelani had a brief career in the National Basketball Association (NBA).

His University of Wisconsin–Parkside’s career leader in points scored (2,262) and rebounds (1,237) and he holds records in the top four of seven other single-game, single-season and career statistical categories.

He scored 47 points twice in a game, one of the top records for a single game scoring performance.

Abdul was a member of two NAIA National Tournament teams in 1974 and 1975 and was named a NAIA All-American in 1975 and 1976.

Abdul attended Washington Park High School in Racine, Wisconsin.

On June 8, 1976, he was drafted by the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers in the third round of the 1976 draft, but he was later waived in October of that year.

Then, later he was signed by the Detroit Pistons on September 2, 1977, but was again waived a month later, prior to the start of the 1977-78 season.

Abdul played one season with the Portland Trail Blazers in 1979–80 and was made available in the expansion draft on May 28, 1980, where he was taken by the Dallas Mavericks prior to their inaugural season in 1980–81.

Jeelani was part of the starting lineup for the Mavericks’ first NBA game in 1980 and scored the first points in franchise history.

During his first season with the Mavs, Abdul seemed to have a knack for scoring in the final quarter of games.

Since January 20, 1981, after he had played 43 games, 142 of his 350 points had come in the last period.

Abdul Qadir Jeelani also had a career overseas playing in Italy, in Lazio Basket and Libertas Livorno and Spain.

He died at Wheaton Franciscan All-Saints hospital in Racine.

Abdul Qadir Jeelani passed away at 62 years old.