Published Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2008 | 1:41 p.m.
Updated Thursday, Dec. 11, 2008 | 10:15 a.m.
Television station KRIS-Channel 6 in Corpus Christi, Texas, reported today of former UNLV basketball player Chris “Flash” Richardson’s death this morning in Japan.
Richardson was on a tour of American military bases in Asia with the Harlem Globetrotters when he passed away in Sasebo, Japan.
Richardson, a Corpus Christi native who lived in Las Vegas, was 28. The cause of death was not known, but a report out of Phoenix said it was believed to be of natural causes.
Richardson shattered a backboard in Hermosillo, Mexico, in October. In November, he played in UNLV’s annual alumni game.
Unofficially, he scored 18 points, most on layups or dunks. He put a rebound back in to cut the red team’s deficit against the white team to 72-70.
He then converted a dunk on the left side with 45 seconds remaining to tie it. Robert Smith won the game for the red squad with two free throws with 7.3 seconds left.
Richardson started his UNLV career, for then-coach Bill Bayno, as a 6-foot-7, 170-pound forward in 1998.
He was upset with a lack of playing time as a freshman, but he improved as a sophomore to average 4.6 points and 3 rebounds, shooting 59.5 percent from the field.
He played 27 games as a junior, then Charlie Spoonhour took over the program. As a senior, Richardson averaged 9.1 points, 5.3 rebound and almost 30 minutes.
"Chris was a wonderful young man who loved life and loved being a Globetrotter," said Globetrotters CEO Kurt Schneider. "The entire Globetrotter family is heartbroken by his passing, and our thoughts and prayers are with his mother, Brenda, and his children."
Richardson relished his role with the Globetrotters.
“Being a Globetrotter means everything to me,” he said. “I get to do what I love for a living and entertain families.”