Iowa State Hall of Famer Dedric Willoughby passes away

Published: Jul. 20, 2023 at 4:19 PM CDT
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AMES, Iowa (KCRG) - One of the greatest shooters in Cyclone basketball history passed away on Wednesday.

Dedric Willoughby was a vital member of two of Iowa State’s most successful teams in 1995-96 and 1996-97 - earning first-team all-league honors and leading the team in scoring (20.5 ppg; 18.9 ppg) both seasons.

Willoughby was the Big Eight Newcomer of the Year and the catalyst in the school’s first-ever Big Eight Conference postseason tournament title in 1996. Willoughby sank two clutch free-throws in the final seconds of the Big Eight Tournament championship game, to propel the Cyclones to victory over No. 5 Kansas, 56-55. He was named MVP of the tournament.

He made 102 3-pointers in his senior season, a total that still ranks No. 1 on ISU’s single-season record chart. His 34 points vs. UCLA equals the most by a Cyclone in a NCAA Tournament game.

Iowa State advanced to the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Tournament in Willoughby’s final season. In his last game as a Cyclone, Willoughby made eight 3-pointers and scored 34 points against UCLA, as the Cyclones lost on a last-second shot (74-73) to miss out on the opportunity to advance to the Elite Eight.

He was named a Second Team All-American by Basketball Times in 1997 and ended his career as the first player in Cyclone history to score over 1,000 points (1,186) in just two seasons.

After Iowa State Willoughby played professionally for a number of years, making his NBA debut in 1999-2000 with the Chicago Bulls, reuniting with Floyd, who left Iowa State after the 1997-98 season to coach the Bulls. He averaged 7.6 points in his lone season in the NBA.

Willoughby was named to Iowa State’s All-Century men’s basketball team in 2008 and was inducted into the Iowa State Athletics Hall of Fame in 2012.

He was 49 years old.