Guest Opinion | Family of late UI basketball star Michael Reaves says ‘Thank you’

After his death at age 54, the family of a former University of Iowa basketball player appreciates their friends, family, and organizations for their support as they grieve his death.


Former Iowa basketball player Michael Reaves (11) sits for a team photo in 1986. (Contributed by Iowa Digital Archives)

The family of the late Michael Silvester Reaves, affectionately known as “Mike,” would like to express our heartfelt appreciation to all family members, friends, neighbors, relatives, and intimate acquaintances for their love and support during our time of bereavement.

Although Reaves, who earned a full four-year basketball scholarship (1984-88) to attend the University of Iowa, relocated back to Decatur, Georgia, after graduating to start his own trucking company, his heart remained with the UI.

Special thanks to former UI men’s basketball head coach Tom Davis; John Shreif, former men’s basketball athletic trainer; Andy Piro, UI assistant athletic director & varsity club executive director; UI Athletic Foundation; Hawkeye Sports Networks; and Vicky Long-Hill, Des Moines assistant city attorney.

Words are inadequate to describe the tremendous support and financial contributions received from many of Mike’s former teammates and their families such as: B.J. Armstrong, Jefff “Shorty” Hill, Michael Morgan, Kevin Gamble, Brad Lahaus, Greg Stokes, Ed Horton, Kent Hill, Bart (Rebeca) Casey, Les Jepeen, Chuck Burrell, Angela (Jeff) Moe, Henry Marzette, Dwane Cooper, Roland Simmons, Brian Gardner, Lefty Moore, Cedric Hill, Rodell Davis, and many others.

Thanks to those in Georgia: Emory University Hospital; Freedom Church; Pastor Burnest Glover; former Baldwin High School boys basketball coaching staff; Slater’s Funeral Home; media networks in Iowa: KCCI Channel 8 News; CBS Channel 2 News; WHO Channel 13 News and in Georgia: WMAZ Channel 13 News; Union Recorder newspaper; and all of the professional medical providers for their love and support.

The many acts of kindness from all who reached out to us continue to be great comfort. Thank you.

— Mary Ann Reaves, mother, and family

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