Report: Former IU guard Neil Reed dead at 36

Chris Palmer of reported via his Twitter account that former Indiana guard Neil Reed has died of cardiac arrest at the age of 36. Looking for more on this.

UPDATE: The Santa Maria Times has now posted a story confirming Reed’s death. Reed was working as a boys basketball and golf coach in nearby Pioneer Valley High School. He is survived by a wife and two daughters.


  1. Wow. That’s shocking. Did he have health issues? I hate it when they write someone died from cardiac arrest. EVERYBODY dies from cardiac arrest unless they were vaporized. I wonder what caused it?

  2. Neil was an extremely popular player until the ‘incident’. Then he was suddenly treated like a pariah. He was the type of player that was always covered with floor burns from diving after loose balls.


  3. I will resist speculating about the cause of his cardiac arrest. For a relatively young man who was, not too long ago, a well conditioned and elite athlete, this is most unusual. Severe coronary disease can kill people of his age, but it is rare. Usually, a man his age prone to risk of serious chart disease would have a significant family history and know, from a very early age, that he has significantly increased risk.

  4. Should have read “severe cardiac disease,” not chart disease. How the hell did I type chart when I mean cardiac?

  5. Not so much. There are a number of anomalies, Marfan’s Syndrome comes to mind, that could cause this type of thing that would go undiagnosed. Also, cardiac events such as R on T phenomena, a cardiac electrical stimulation anomaly in an otherwise healthy heart, that could cause it.

    Let’s not immediately assume the guy was up to no good.

  6. Sometimes lives get defined by a few dark clouds of sorrow. It probably took a lot of strength to move out from under that sky. I have a feeling the hope in a breaking wave, the long days of bright sunshine, and the warm soft beaches of California matched Neil’s innate disposition. He moved into a new world playing point guard; keeping his head up and looking unselfishly forward. May he rest in peace.

  7. If he had rheumatic fever as a child, that can
    cause several types of problems later on in life
    that have to be monitored in case they occur.
    Very sad, he will be missed, a brave person to
    end up in the middle of Bob Knight’s decline at
    IU and suffer so as a result.

  8. RIP Neil Reed. I remember watching him play in the mid 90’s and always admiring his heady play and sweet shooting stroke.

  9. Sad when anyone so young dies. I feel for his family and those close to him.

    It is ironic that three high profile transfers from around that same time period have suffered tragedy. Jason Collier transfered to Georgia Tech, went on to the NBA for awhile, and died very young. Luke Recker transfered to Arizona,never played a minute for them because of the terrible car wreck that almost killed him, had some success at Iowa and then disappeared from the basketball map. Now Reed. Just seems odd.

  10. Reality check… I’m the same age as Neil. Scary. Man I feel for that family.


  11. Neil and Tom Coverdale were the 2 toughest guards I saw in Knight’s later years, also Mike Lewis. Like Collier he died way too early and both got bad raps due to Knight. Both guys just could not continue with the harassment. Knight said Collier was soft and would not rebound,yet he led the ACC in rebounding for 2 years. Neil played through pain with a shoulder harness and still dove for loose balls. Prayers for Neil’s family.God bless Neil and Jason.

  12. Probably Marfan’s, whenever an tall athlete dies from cardiac arrest that is where I go to. My niece has it and it is so often undiagnosed. It destroys the connective tissues, including those in the heart. The more you exert yourself, the worse it gets. If properly treated though, it is treatable and with surgical help and a calm lifestyle you can live a relatively normal lifespan. More docs should be looking for this. Senseless deaths.

  13. Marfan’s is a good possibility. A lot more people get endocarditis, though you usually are symptomatic and don’t suddenly died.
    My wife works with a vascular surgery group and they have on occasion done aortic repair on people with Marfan’s.
    The heart is such an amazing piece of work. There’s plenty that can go wrong, though. I hope your niece has a long and healthy life.

  14. Knight’s decline was his last 6 years or so at IU when he couldn’t get past the Sweet 16 because he kept getting his butt kicked by teams with FAR less talent.

  15. Thanks Chet. She is doing very well so far but she is very careful and has excellent docs :). Bless you and yours.

  16. Neil was a wonderful player. I remember his sweet shooting stroke vividly. Anytime cardiac arrest is suspected, it makes you wonder. I really wonder if anyone near him had their acls certification?

Comments are closed.