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John Edward Drew (born September 30 1954 in Vredenburgh, Alabamamarker) is a retired Americanmarker professional basketball player. A 6'6" guard/forward from Gardner-Webb University, he played 11 seasons in the NBA. Drew was a two-time NBA All-Star, and was one of the earliest casualties of the drug policy instituted by commissioner David Stern.

Amateur years

John Drew attended J.F. Shields High School in Beatrice, Alabamamarker. Following high school he played basketball collegiately at Gardner-Webb University[206842].

NBA career

Selected by the Atlanta Hawks with the 7th pick (in the 2nd round) of the 1974 NBA Draft, Drew quickly made an impact with the club, averaging 18.5 points per game, 10.7 rebounds per game, and leading the NBA in offensive rebounding during his rookie season (Drew was named to the NBA All-Rookie Team for his efforts). From 1974 to 1982, the immensely talented Drew starred for the Hawks, with whom he was a two-time All-Star, averaging more than 20 points per game on five occasions. After being traded by Atlanta for Dominique Wilkins, Drew played three seasons (1982-1985) with the Utah Jazz, retiring with 15,291 career points. He joined Artis Gilmore and Eddie Lee Wilkins as the only alumni of Gardner-Webb University to play in the NBA.

With Jason Kidd, Drew holds the NBA record for most turnovers in a regular season game (14). Drew set that mark with the Hawks in a March 1, 1978 game against New Jersey.

Drug addiction

Drew's career came to an end because of his addiction to cocaine. In the first of what would be many drug-related career setbacks, Drew missed 38 games during the 1983 season while attending drug rehab. While he would win the league's Comeback Player of the Year award in 1984 for seemingly having overcome his addiction, Drew relapsed into drug abuse in 1985, and was banned from the NBA in 1986 for multiple violations of the league's substance abuse policy, including various arrests for drug possession. He was the first player ever to be banned for life under the NBA's drug policy.

, Drew was living in Houstonmarker, Texasmarker, where Charles Barkley had last reported seeing him, and he finally has a grip on his cocaine addiction. He is currently a taxi cab driver in Houston.


  1. Regular Season Records: Turnovers. Retrieved on October 15, 2009.
  2. An Athlete, A Cocaine Addict: John Drew Fights For His Life
  3. Drew Opposes Ban
  4. Drew found, finding his way

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