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Earl Cureton facts: Wife, children, net worth and death cause explained

Earl Cureton was an American professional basketball player who died on February 4, 2024.

Known as “Earl The Twirl,” Cureton had a stellar career at Detroit Finney HS and then played one season at Robert Morris before heading home, back to the University of Detroit, where he played for Dick Vitale.

Cureton and Vitale got Detroit to the NCAA Tournament in 1979, with Cureton leading the team with 19.9 points and 9.1 rebounds per game.

Earl Cureton

He was then drafted in the third round by the Philadelphia 76ers, where he spent three years and was part of the Sixers’ 1983 title-winning squad.

Cureton then returned again to Detroit, signing with his hometown Pistons the following season.

In a 17-year NBA career, Cureton also played for the Houston Rockets — where he won another championship in 1994, when Houston beat the Knicks in the NBA Finals — as well as the Chicago Bulls, Charlotte Hornets and Toronto Raptors.

Earl Cureton
Earl Cureton played three seasons with his hometown Pistons. Getty Images

He retired in 1997, having played in 674 NBA games and averaged 5.4 points per game and 4.7 rebounds.

Cureton also played professionally in Italy, France, Argentina and Mexico.

As part of his recent duties with the Pistons, Cureton filled in on the team’s radio broadcast on Friday, taking the place of Rick Mahorn, who was sick.

Earl Cureton
Earl Cureton 3 Earl Cureton started his career, and won an NBA championship, with the 76ers. Getty Images

Cureton was scheduled to broadcast the Pistons’ game against Orlando on Sunday on Bally Sports Detroit, according to The Detroit Free Press.

Earl Cureton death cause

Earl Cureton died unexpectedly on Sunday, according to the Detroit Pistons. He was 66.

No cause of death was revealed. The Detroit News reported that Cureton collapsed Sunday morning at his home in Farmington Hills, Mich.

Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas, who played with Cureton with the Pistons, said in a statement, “All of us are hurting. He was a tremendous teammate, tough competitor, a champion and a great human being. Earl always held the Detroit community close to his heart and worked tirelessly to make a difference for the city he loved. He will be greatly missed.”

The Pistons released their own statement, saying the organization “is deeply saddened by the passing of Earl Cureton, a person who meant so much to the organization as a colleague, former player, community ambassador and friend. As tough a competitor as he was during his playing years on the court, he was equally kind-hearted, outgoing and impactful off it.

“He represented our franchise with great passion and truly enjoyed working to give back and improve the lives of Detroiters in the city he loved so much. We extend our heartfelt condolences to Earl’s family and countless friends and teammates during this most difficult time.

Earl Cureton

Earl Cureton wife

Judith, the enigmatic wife of the late NBA player Earl Cureton, has maintained a low-key profile despite her connection to the world of sports.

She holds American nationality and belongs to an African-American ethnicity. Her formative years were spent in her hometown in the United States, where she grew up with her parents.

In the wake of Earl Cureton’s recent passing, Judith remains a steadfast presence, honoring the sanctity of their shared journey.

While curiosity often surrounds well-known personalities, Judith’s deliberate detachment from public scrutiny serves as a reminder of the importance of respecting individuals’ privacy. Her decision to lead a private existence reflects a personal choice, away from the spotlight.

Earl Cureton children

Earl Cureton is survived by his wife, Denise, and three children: Earl Jr., Erica, Evan.

Earl Cureton’s familial legacy includes his daughter, Sari, who has added her own chapter to the family’s basketball narrative.

Born in the 1980s, Sari Cureton emerged as a notable figure associated with her father’s basketball journey.

The familial connection to the sport became evident when she attended an event at Georgetown University, where her father’s jersey was retired.

This gesture not only underscored the significance of Earl Cureton’s contributions to the basketball world but also showcased the familial support that defined their bond.

Sari Cureton continued the basketball legacy within the family by actively participating in the sport during her time at Georgetown University.

Earl Cureton Net worth

Earl Cureton’s total net worth to be around the $2 million to $3 million mark.

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Simon Kabutey
Simon Kabutey
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