Sealy while playing for St. John's
February 1, 1970|
Bronx, New York, U.S.
|Died||May 20, 2000
St. Louis Park, Minnesota, U.S.
|Listed height||6 ft 8 in (2.03 m)|
|Listed weight||200 lb (91 kg)|
|High school||St. Nicholas of Tolentine
(Bronx, New York)
|College||St. John's (1988–1992)|
|NBA draft||1992 / Round: 1 / Pick: 14th overall|
|Selected by the Indiana Pacers|
|Position||Small forward / Shooting guard|
|Number||21, 14, 2|
|1994–1997||Los Angeles Clippers|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NBA statistics|
|Points||4,955 (10.1 ppg)|
|Rebounds||1,585 (3.2 rpg)|
|Steals||518 (1.1 spg)|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
Malik Sealy (February 1, 1970 – May 20, 2000) was an American professional basketball player, active from 1992 until his death in an automobile accident at the age of 30. Sealy played eight seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA) for the Indiana Pacers, Los Angeles Clippers, Detroit Pistons and Minnesota Timberwolves.
A native of the Bronx, New York, Sealy was named after noted African-American social activist Malik Shabazz, better known as Malcolm X, for whom Sealy's father had been a bodyguard. In his senior year at Tolentine high school, Sealy, along with future collegians Brian Reese, and Adrian Autry, went 30-1, and won the state title. Sealy played college basketball at St. John's University, finishing his college career with 2,401 points, good for second all-time in St. John's history. Sealy was drafted by the Indiana Pacers with the 14th overall pick in the 1992 NBA Draft. When he was a rookie, he lost his playbook, which was turned over to WFAN radio personality Don Imus.
Over the course of his NBA career, Sealy averaged 10.1 points per game in 23.8 minutes. His final season's highlights included his making a game-winning reverse putback shot at the buzzer against the Orlando Magic on December 27, 1999 which gave the Timberwolves a 107–105 road win. He also made a game-winning 3-pointer off the glass as time expired in a 101–100 Timberwolves win over the Indiana Pacers on January 17, 2000.
Sealy was also an aspiring actor, and had a major role as the talented but selfish basketball player 'Stacey Patton' in the 1996 motion picture Eddie starring Whoopi Goldberg. He also made appearances on TV shows such as The Sentinel and Diagnosis: Murder. In addition to this, Sealy designed ties and clothing and owned "Malik Sealy XXI, Inc."
Sealy was killed in St. Louis Park, Minnesota on May 20, 2000. He was driving home from a birthday celebration for teammate and best friend Kevin Garnett in downtown Minneapolis when his sport utility vehicle was struck by a pickup truck traveling the wrong way down the highway. The truck was driven by 43-year-old Souksangouane Phengsene, who survived the accident with head and chest injuries. Neither driver was wearing a seatbelt. Phengsene's airbag deployed, but Sealy's SUV did not have one.
Blood tests indicated that at the time of the accident, Phengsene had been driving drunk; his blood alcohol content was 0.19%. The legal limit in Minnesota at the time was 0.1%. He pleaded guilty to a charge of vehicular manslaughter, was given a four-year prison term, and was released from prison in 2003.
Although his plea bargain in Sealy's death had not included a conviction specifically on the charge of driving while intoxicated, Phengsene had been convicted of drunken driving in a separate incident three years prior to his fatal collision with Sealy. After his release from prison, Phengsene was convicted of drunken driving in a new incident in 2006. After serving a year in a workhouse on that conviction, he was freed and then was arrested and convicted of drunken driving yet again in 2008. This latest conviction garnered him an eight-year prison sentence.
In Sealy's honor, the Minnesota Timberwolves retired his #2 jersey. Kevin Garnett also paid a tribute to him, having written "2MALIK" in the inside of the tongue on the Adidas Garnett 3 shoes. Sealy was buried in Ferncliff Cemetery, the same cemetery as the slain civil rights leader for whom he was named. Garnett also has a tattoo honoring Sealy's name on his right arm. Upon being traded from the Boston Celtics to the Brooklyn Nets in July 2013, Garnett changed his uniform number to #2 in honor of Sealy. In his homecoming to Minnesota on February 25, 2015, Kevin Garnett wore a #2 sweatband on his left forearm in memory of his best friend.
- "Malik Sealy". NBA Stats. NBA Media. Retrieved May 20, 2014.
- "T'wolves' Sealy dies in car crash". CNN/Sports Illustrated. AP. May 21, 2000.
- Sandomir, Richard (May 1, 1993). "Sports of The Times; Imus Scores On Turnover By Sealy". New York Times. Retrieved July 17, 2012.
- Sealy dies in collision with pickup truck, May 22, 2000
- "Malik Sealy's killer admits drinking 8 beers before latest arrest", Minneapolis Star Tribune
- "Drunken driver convicted in Sealy's death sentenced to eight years". ESPN.com. April 25, 2008. Retrieved July 17, 2012.
- "NBA Retired Jerseys". InsideHoops. 2010.
- "Kevin Garnett Profile and Tidbits". GarnetTribute.
- "Garnett to wear No. 2 to honor Sealy". ESPN.com. July 18, 2013. Retrieved July 18, 2013.