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Former Bulls Draft Pick Emma Found Dead, Apparent Suicide

Thomas Emma

Thomas Emma (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)

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NEW YORK (AP) – Thomas Emma was drafted by the Chicago Bulls after a career at Duke University that included being named the captain of the 1983 team. On Tuesday, Emma was found dead in New York.

Emma fell from the 12th floor of the New York Athletic Club in Manhattan to his death in an apparent suicide, police said.

The 49-year-old Emma’s body was found at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday on a second-floor landing of the building on Central Park South, where Emma was a member. The New York City medical examiner will determine the cause of his death.

The athletic club had no comment.

Emma was the captain for the 1983 Duke team that featured the freshman trio of Jay Bilas, Johnny Dawkins and Mark Alarie, who eventually led the Blue Devils to the 1986 Final Four. Emma was drafted in the 10th round by the Chicago Bulls but never played in the NBA.

He averaged 7.1 points while starting 71 games during his college career.

Bilas, a college basketball analyst for ESPN, told The Herald-Sun that Emma “was like a big brother to me.” Bilas said that Emma had been struggling with his health in recent months.

Emma was a high school star in Manhasset, on Long Island, and later earned his master’s degree from Columbia University. He was president of Power Performance, Inc., a company devoted to training young athletes.

Emma also wrote a book, “Basketball Player’s Comprehensive Guide to Strength Training.”

Copyright 2010 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. STATS LLC and The Associated Press contributed to this article. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.