- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 18, 2007

LaRon Cephas, who played on Maryland’s first Final Four team, died yesterday morning, according to a statement by his employer. He was 29.

Former teammate Matt Hahn, who played with Cephas for four seasons at Maryland, said he learned of Cephas’ death yesterday afternoon. He said he was told Cephas died of a heart attack.

“He was just a phenomenal guy,” said Hahn, who is now an assistant at Vermont. “Probably one of the funniest people I’ve been around in my life. Everybody who knew him is a better person for being around him. He was a good-hearted guy, a very unselfish guy. He just cared about people. Ceph was about the greater good. He was a great person.”

Cephas was working as the acting program director at Bates Boys & Girls Club in Annapolis, where he had also served as athletic director.

“LaRon was more than a staff member; he was a friend and hero to so many,” Reginald Broddie, the chief professional officer of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Annapolis and Anne Arundel County, said in a statement. “In the short period of time that he has worked with us, the number of kids he touched was amazing.”

Cephas averaged 1.1 points and 1.1 rebounds in 64 games at Maryland from 1997 to 2001 and was hindered by injuries early in his career.

But the 6-foot-7 forward had a great influence on the 2000-01 team that reached the Final Four for the first time in school history. Coach Gary Williams constantly praised Cephas’ daily contributions that season, even though Cephas played sparingly once the ACC schedule began and averaged 1.7 points in 14 games for the year.

“His attitude and dedication was something coaches wish every player had,” Williams said in a statement. “You don’t have good teams without people such as LaRon Cephas in your program. … He was one of my favorite players in 18 years as head coach at [Maryland].”

Cephas, who was elected as a student government representative during his time at Maryland, remained a popular figure even after his career. He received a loud ovation when he was introduced as an honorary captain before a game last season.

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