Former Hawkeye basketball star Kenny Arnold passes away at 59

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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - Kenny Arnold, former standout guard for the University of Iowa men's basketball team, passed away early Saturday morning. He was 59 years old.

Iowa guard Kenny Arnold cuts the net after qualifying for the Final Four in the 1980 NCAA men's basketball tournament (KCRG File)

Arnold had suffered the effects of health problems for many years, including a brain tumor and several strokes.

“All of us within the Iowa basketball family are deeply saddened to hear the news of Kenny’s passing,” current Iowa head men’s basketball coach Fran McCaffery said, in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the Arnold family. We lost one of the most inspirational players our program has ever had. Kenny always had a smile on his face and cared most about the happiness of others. His spirit and legacy will not be forgotten.”

Arnold was a three-year starter for the Hawkeyes from 1979-1982. During that time, the team won a regular season Big Ten conference championship in 1979, and reached the Final Four in the NCAA men's basketball tournament in 1980. As a sophomore that year, he led the team in scoring at 13.5 points per game, and assists with 4.3 per game.

He finished his career at Iowa ranked 37th in scoring with 1,112 points, and 10th in assists with 352. He was drafted 96th overall by the Dallas Mavericks in 1982.

Funeral arrangements are pending.