Demetrius Calip, a former Michigan basketball player who was part of the 1989 national championship team, died on February 5, 2023, according to his son, Demetrius Calip II. He was 53 years old. The cause of death has not been revealed yet.
A Flint Native and a National Champion
Calip was born in Flint, Michigan, on November 18, 1969. He attended Flint Northern High School, where he was a second-team all-state selection in 1987. He then joined the University of Michigan Wolverines, where he played from 1987 to 1991.
As a sophomore, Calip was a backup guard on the 1988-89 team that won the program’s only national title under interim coach Steve Fisher. He played in 30 of 37 games that season, averaging 4.4 points and 1.3 assists. He also contributed 20 points in the first four NCAA Tournament games, including nine points against Xavier and six points against Virginia.
As a senior, Calip became a full-time starter and led the team in scoring (20.5 points), assists (3.5) and minutes (35.2). He scored 28 points in his final college game, a loss to Colorado in the NIT. He finished his career with 96 games played, 42 starts, and 9.6 points per game.
A Brief NBA Career and a Stint as an Actor
After going undrafted in the 1991 NBA draft, Calip signed with the Los Angeles Lakers and played in seven games during the 1991-92 season. He averaged 2.9 points and 1.4 assists in 8.6 minutes per game.
He then played in the Continental Basketball Association (CBA) for the Rapid City Thrillers, the Yakima Sun Kings and the Columbus Horizon. He also played for the Mexico Aztecas in the International Basketball League (IBL).
Calip also had a career as an actor, appearing in two basketball-themed movies: Blue Chips (1994) and Eddie (1996). In Blue Chips, he played one of the college players recruited by Nick Nolte’s character. In Eddie, he played one of the New York Knicks players coached by Whoopi Goldberg’s character.
A Legacy of Love and Respect
Calip’s death was met with sadness and condolences from his former teammates, coaches and fans. His son, Demetrius Calip II, shared the news on social media with a heartfelt message: “Dad. 2/5/23. Love you forever. He was the perfect example of a great dad and I can only be grateful and happy.”
Michigan coach Juwan Howard also offered his prayers on Twitter: “Prayers for Demetrius, his family, friends and teammates; Rest now.”
Calip’s former teammate Glen Rice remembered him as a “great friend” and a “great teammate” who always had a smile on his face.
Calip’s former coach Steve Fisher praised him as a “wonderful young man” who was “very talented” and “very competitive”.
Calip’s legacy will live on as a national champion, a Flint native and a loving father. He will be missed by many who knew him and admired him.