Former Utah star Luther ‘Ticky’ Burden dies at 62
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) Luther ”Ticky” Burden, an All-America basketball guard at Utah, has died. He was 62.
Family friend Lut (lyut) Williams said Burden died in his sleep Thursday at Forsyth Medical Center in Winston-Salem.
Williams said Burden had been battling a disease that compromised his immune system when he had a reaction to anesthesia prior to undergoing cataract surgery at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. Williams said Burden later developed a fever and was taken to Forsyth.
Burden had ATTR amyloidosis, a disease that causes the body’s immune system to produce abnormal forms of antibodies, and had been treated at New York Presbyterian Hospital.
A fundraiser was held last year at a high school in Burden’s hometown of Albany, New York, to raise money for his medical costs. Burden was flying back and forth from North Carolina every three weeks for treatment.
Burden had helped teach basketball at a YMCA near his home in Winston-Salem, where he lived for two decades.
”The young kids have kept me inspired,” Burden told The Associated Press in an interview in 2014.
Burden, a 6-foot-2 guard, was a star at Phillip Schuyler High School, nearly averaging a triple double over four years. He went on to excel in college at Utah and is the sixth-leading scorer in school history with 1,790 points. He averaged 28.7 points 1974-75, tied for second-highest single-season average in school history, and was named to The Associated Press All-America team in 1975.
He signed with the Virginia Squires of the ABA in 1975 and joined the Knicks the following year when the league merged with the NBA and was a reserve for two seasons before retiring because of knee problems.
Burden also spent nearly two years at Auburn Correction Facility in upstate New York before a judge overturned his conviction on robbery charges in 1984. He was convicted in an $18,000 bank heist on Long Island in 1980 but won his appeal because police failed to obtain a search warrant before they entered his home and found stolen money. Burden said he was set up by three other men who committed the robbery.
Burden is survived by a wife and 10 children, five who were adopted. Funeral arrangements were not complete Thursday.