-- Darryl Dawkins, whose backboard-shattering dunks earned him the moniker "Chocolate Thunder" and helped pave the way for breakaway rims, has died. He was 58.
The Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, coroner's office said Dawkins died Thursday morning at a hospital. No cause of death was immediately announced, and an autopsy was scheduled for Friday.
He was selected No. 5 in the 1975 NBA draft by the 76ers. Dawkins was the first high school player to be taken in the first round of the draft.
Dawkins was as revered off the court as he was on it. He remained enormously popular after his playing days were done, even during his stint as a member of the Harlem Globetrotters.
He would name his dunks -- the "Look Out Below," the "Yo-Mama" and the "Rim Wrecker" among them -- and often boasted that he hailed from the "Planet Lovetron."
Injuries plagued him late in his NBA career, and he went overseas for several years to play, primarily in the Italian league.
The Associated Press and ESPN Stats & Information contributed to this report.