Former Hawks star ‘Fast Eddie’ Johnson dies at 65 while serving life in prison

Ryan Young
·Writer
·1-min read

Former Atlanta Hawks star Eddie Johnson, who was hit with a lifetime ban from the NBA and was serving a life sentence in prison, has died, according to the Associated Press.

He was 65.

Johnson died on Oct. 26, but his death was confirmed on Tuesday by the Rocker-Cusack Mortuary in Leesburg, Florida, per the report.

‘Fast Eddie’ sentenced to life in prison, banned from NBA

Johnson, who quickly earned the nickname “Fast Eddie,” was selected by the Hawks in the third round of the 1977 draft. He spent eight seasons there, earning two All-Star nods, before finishing up his time in the league with short stints with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Seattle Supersonics.

He averaged 15.1 points and 5.1 assists throughout his career, and hit a career-high 19.1 points per game during the 1980-81 season.

Johnson was banned from the league for life in 1987, however, for his cocaine use — something that had earned him several suspensions previously.

In 2008, when Johnson was 53, he was found guilty of sexually assaulting an 8-year-old girl and received a mandatory life sentence in Florida.

Johnson, per the Associated Press, was serving that sentence at the Santa Rosa Correctional Institution in Milton, Florida. His cause of death is reportedly due to an undisclosed illness, though specifics are not clear.

Former Atlanta Hawks star Eddie Johnson
Eddie Johnson, who was banned from the NBA for life due to his cocaine use, was in prison for sexually assaulting an 8-year-old girl. (Focus on Sport/Getty Images)

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