Dave Ungrady: The Legacy of Len Bias

In this episode...

Dave Ungrady has been a man on a mission to tell the story of University of Maryland Basketball star Len Bias, who died of a cocaine overdose two days after he was drafted to the Boston Celtics in June 1986. Ungrady is the author of Born Ready: The Mixed Legacy of Len Bias

Next week Len Bias will finally be inducted into the NCAA Hall of Fame. For a long time leadership within University of Maryland athletics and some of the larger basketball world looked at Bias’ death simply as a story of tragedy and wanted to move on. But Ungrady has long sought to tell the story of Bias’ legacy as a player and as a lesson for young athletes today.

Bias v. Jordan in a matchup between University of Maryland and University of North Carolina

Ungrady is set to release a new documentary and podcast series to coincide with Bias being inducted into the NCAA hall of fame.

We talk about the comparisons between Bias and Michael Jordan. No doubt the NBA in the era of Jordan would have been even more vibrant with Len Bias.

We discuss former U.S. Drug Zhar Robert DuPont’s statement that Len Biases overdose from cocaine was the single most important date in U.S. history of drug abuse next to the founding of AA.

Bias also become a word used by journalists to describe the even bigger story unfolding beneath the Len Bias personal tragedy—Bias as in racial bias that became law when, just months after Len’s death, congress enacted harsh mandatory minimum sentences for possession of crack with paltry sentences for possession of cocaine.

"He was changing the game. He had a 44” vertical leap. Jordan trying to stop him. You can’t stop his shot. That’s how good he was."

– Dave Ungrady, author of Born Ready: The Mixed Legacy of Len Bias

For more than 30 years, Dave Ungrady was a journalist and editor at elite news and media organizations, including the Washington Post, AOL, the Voice of America, NBC, and Travelchannel.com.  As an independent writer, Dave’s works have been published in the New York Times, the Washington Post, USA TODAY, the Wall Street Journal, Sport Magazine, Washingtonian Magazine, and others.

As a broadcaster, Dave’s experience has centered on sports reporting.  He has produced segments for CNN and ESPN and was the radio play-by-play voice for Major League Soccer’s DC United. On XM Satellite Radio, Dave hosted and produced soccer talk programs during the 2006 FIFA World Cup. He has produced radio stories for Only a Game and hosted live shows about soccer, health and fitness, and general sports on Washington, DC area stations.

Dave is the author of four books:

  • Tales From the Maryland Terrapins, a Collection of the Greatest Stories Ever Told (bestseller, Neilsen Book Scan)

  • Unlucky: A Season of Struggle in Minor League Professional Soccer, chronicling his efforts to play professional soccer for the first time at the age of 40, received international acclaim.

  • Legends of Maryland Basketball, honoring the top 25 basketball personalities of the University of Maryland.

  • Born Ready:  The Mixed Legacy of Len Bias.

Dave began his teaching career in August 2015. He is a middle school and high school social sciences teacher at Douglass School in Leesburg, VA, teaching journalism, decision-making, economics, civics, and history.

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