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Former NBA All-Star Dan Roundfield is being hailed a hero after drowning off the coast of the Caribbean island of Aruba while saving his wife.

Roundfield and his wife, Bernie, were swimming off the southern tip of the island yesterday when they went beyond a protected reef area and got caught in rough water, according to police.

The 59-year-old grandfather managed to get his wife to some rocks where she scrambled to safety but he was then swept away in the current. Search and rescue teams found Roundfield’s body about 90 minutes later, trapped by rocks underwater.

‘It’s a real tragedy,’ said John Larmonie, a spokesman for Aruba police. ‘He drowned saving his wife.’ Julia Roundfield, a sister-in-law of the athlete, who lives in Detroit, said the family was still trying to get to the bottom of what happened. ‘He was a real sweet guy,’ she said. ‘He really was a sweetheart.’ The player’s wife, Bernie, was treated for shock after scrambling out of the water. The Roundfield’s have two sons, Corey and Christopher, and a number of grandchildren.

The 6-foot-8 forward-center played for Central Michigan in college and started his pro career with Indiana, which was then in the ABA.

This is so sad and tragic, we’re keeping the family in our prayers.


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