This grassy spot next to the Lathrop grave is the unmarked grave of Malik Sealy.
Born in 1970 in the Bronx and named after Malcolm X because his father had been one of the great activist’s bodyguards, Sealy became a leading New York high school basketball player. He won the state title at Tolentine High, a now-defunct Catholic school in the Bronx. He then went on to St. John’s, where he was one of the last really great players in that school’s long run of success. He was a two-time First Team All-Big East in 1991 and 1992 and a second-team All-American in 1992 before entering the NBA draft. The Indiana Pacers picked him with the 14th selection of the first round in 1992.
Sealy was an alright NBA player. He could score some and was a useful bench contributor and spot starter, but not someone a team was going to build around. With his useful skill set and his limitations, he was headed for a career as a journeyman. He played for Indiana from 1992-94, the LA Clippers from 1994-97, the Detroit Pistons in the 97-98 season, and the Minnesota Timberwolves from 1998-2000. For his career, he averaged 10 points and 3 rebounds a game. He also acted a little bit, including in the 1996 Whoopi Goldberg vehicle Eddie, which reminds me that this was a period where every mediocre NBA player could get multiple acting gigs and Shaq could get multiple lead roles for reasons that defy any logic.
Sadly, Sealy’s career and life was cut short in 2000 when he was returning from a birthday party for Kevin Garnett’s and was plowed into by a drunk driver going the wrong way down the freeway. The driver was convicted of drunk driving before. He served three years in prison and then has received multiple drunk driving convictions since, which have led to increased prison time.
Malik Sealy is buried in Hartsdale Cemetery, Ferncliff, New York.
If you would like this series to feature other basketball players who died during their careers, you can donate the cover the required expenses here. Len Bias is buried in Suitland, Maryland and Reggie Lewis is in Boston. Previous posts in this series are archived here.