Former LSU hoops player Sims dies at age 54

BATON ROUGE, La. — Wayne “Big Daddy” Sims, who played in four NCAA tournaments with LSU from 1987-91, died Wednesday at age 54.

LSU’s athletic department confirmed Sims’ death. No cause of death was immediately disclosed.

Sims’ coach at LSU was Dale Brown, and his teammates included Shaquille O’Neal, Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf and Vernel Singleton. During Sims’ senior season, LSU won the Southeastern Conference championship.

“He brought the best out in players, and everyone liked him,” Brown said. “He was a team player — didn’t get the credit maybe he deserved for the great run they had, but he was a wonderful person.

“He was never a flashy guy that needed stardom, but he was the base to our team.”

Wayne’s son Wayde also played for two seasons for the Tigers before he was fatally shot during an off-campus altercation on the eve of LSU’s first scheduled practice before the 2018-19 season.

Following their son’s death, Wayne Sims and his wife, Fay, set up the Baton Rouge-based Wayde Sims Foundation.

“He and Fay worked tirelessly to keep Wayde’s memory alive,” said McNeese State coach Will Wade, who was Wayde Sims’ coach at LSU. “I’ll never forget Wayne and Fay saying that God will find a way to save lives through Wayde’s death.”

Wayne Sims, listed at 6-foot-7, 247 pounds during his playing days, appeared in 117 games for LSU, starting 74, and scoring 1,107 career points and grabbing 603 rebounds. He is one of 21 LSU players to reach 1,000 career points and 500 rebounds, and one of nine players in program history to appear in four NCAA tournaments.

Sims scored 24 points in one of LSU’s most memorable upset victories, an 82-80 triumph over No. 2 Georgetown on Jan. 28, 1989 — a game played in the Superdome in New Orleans in front of a crowd of 54,321.

Sims grew up in Deridder, Louisiana, and was a two-time All-State selection at Deridder High School, where he averaged 21.9 points and nine rebounds as a senior.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

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