Jerome Whitehead Found Dead: Alcohol Abuse to Blame for Former NBA, Marquette Player Death [VIDEO]

Former NBA player Jerome Whitehead was found dead at the age of 56 in his San Diego home last week. An autopsy of his body revealed that the cause of his death was "gastrointestinal hemorrhage related to chronic alcohol abuse," according the examiner's office.

Jerome Whitehead is best known for a shot before the buzzer in the Marquette University 's 1977 NCAA semifinal game. He averaged 11 points during the game against North Carolina-Charlotte.

A 6-foot-10 center, Whitehead was drafted in the second round of the 1978 draft by the San Diego Clippers. He went to play in the NBA a total for 11 years, playing for Utah, Dallas, Golden State and San Antonio.

The Chicago Tribune reported that Jerome Whitehead was found dead on Dec. 20 by his sister in his home in El Cajon (near San Diego). He was reportedly dead for a about a week before his body was discovered.

The Marquette University team will observe a moment of silence for Whitehead on Tuesday night before their game against U Conn.

An official with the Marquette told Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: "We are deeply saddened by the passing of Jerome Whitehead. Jerome's game-winning layup in the 1977 national semifinal victory over UNC-Charlotte will forever be celebrated as one of the great plays in our program's history. He will be missed. Jerome's family and all of those who knew and loved him are in our thoughts and prayers."

Whitehead's death comes three weeks after the deadt of former Marquette assistant and longtime college basketball head coach Rick Majerus.

Jerome Whitehead was born Sep 30, 1956 in Waukegan, Il.

Watch Jerome Whitehead's famous layup in the Marquette's 1977 NCAA Title Game.