NEW YORK - Former Duke basketball player Tom Emma was found dead on Tuesday morning after a fall from the top of the New York Athletic Club on Central Park South. Emma was a member of the Duke basketball team from 1980-83 and served as a team captain as a senior.
As a Blue Devil, Emma played in 110 career games (71 starts) averaging 7.1 points, 1.8 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game. He ranks fourth in the Duke record books with a .843 (214-of-254) career free throw percentage.
Emma scored a career-high 19 points on 6-of-9 shooting from the field and 7-of-7 shooting from the foul line against Stetson in Mike Krzyzewski's first game as the Duke head coach. The Blue Devils won the contest, 67-49, at Cameron Indoor Stadium on Nov. 29, 1980. The Manhasset, N.Y., native also had a 19-point effort against N.C. state on Jan. 26, 1983. He knocked down five three-point field goals in that contest at Reynolds Coliseum.
Emma, a 10th round pick by the Chicago Bulls in 1983, fell from the 12th floor of the building just after 11 am. He never played a regular season game for the Bulls. After earning his degree from Duke, Emma went on to get a master's degree from Columbia University.
He was president of Power Performance, Inc., a company that specializes in training athletes in strength, conditioning and athletic-enhancement techniques. Emma also authored a book, "A Basketball Player's Comprehensive Guide to Strength Training."
"The Duke basketball family is deeply saddened to hear of the tragic passing of Tom Emma," Krzyzewski said. "He was a good man and fine representative of Duke University. Our hearts go out to his family and friends. He will be missed."