Cliff Robinson: 5 Things To Know About NBA Legend & ‘Survivor’ Alum Dead At 53


Cliff Robinson, who shot to fame in the NBA many years ago, has tragically passed at the age of 53.

His alma mater UConn was the one to announce the devastating news on Saturday, August 29. “The UConn Basketball family mourns the loss of a legendary player and person, Clifford Robinson,” they tweeted above a classic photo of him playing basketball for their school. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Cliff’s family at this difficult time. The cause of his death has not yet been released. He is now the second well-known figure to pass in recent days following Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman, who died on Friday, August 28, at the age of 43 after a 4-year private battle with colon cancer.  

Cliff Robinson
Cliff Robinson and his wife Heather Lufkins. Credit: AP Images

Here are five things you should know about Cliff who also had a moment in the world of reality television.

1: College Superstar. Cliff began his basketball career off at UConn where the 6-foot-10 forward/center played for four years beginning in 1985. He was an integral part of them winning the 1988 National Invitational Tournament over the Ohio State Buckeyes.

2: Decorated Career. The Buffalo, New York native had a very long tenure in the NBA. He was drafted into The Portland Trail Blazers in 1989 before playing with other teams including The New Jersey Nets, Detroit Pistons, Phoenix Suns and Golden State Warriors. Accolades he earned along the way included him being chosen as an All-Star in 1994.

3: Reality Television Fame. He was a contestant on season 28 of Survivor which was filmed in Cagayan, a province in the Philippines. Cliff was originally part of the “brawns” tribute, where they initially competed against the “beauty” and “brains” for rewards and immunity. His time on the show didn’t last long though as he was the fifth contestant to be voted out.

Cliff Robinson
Cliff Robinson during a game. Credit: AP Images

4: Personal Life. He and wife Heather Lufkins got married in The Barbados on September 21, 2003. He has one son named Isaiah Robinson.

5: Health Issues. Cliff had a lot of heath problems in recent years before his death. He suffered a stroke in 2017 that paralyzed the left side of his bod but he was able to recover much of his arm and leg movement in the months to come. He also had a tumor removed from his jaw one later year.


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