Oklahoma basketball: Remembering Sooner All-American Ryan Minor

Minnesota Twins v Baltimore Orioles
Minnesota Twins v Baltimore Orioles / Mitchell Layton/GettyImages

The Oklahoma basketball family has lost one of its great ones.

Former Sooner two-sport star Ryan Minor passed away on Friday after battling colon cancer. He was just 49 years old. Minor's death was announced on social media by his twin brother, Damon. He was diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer last fall.

Minor was an All-American on the OU basketball team, playing two seasons for Billy Tubbs and two under former Sooner head coach Kelvin Sampson. He was the Big Eight Player of the Year in 1994-95 a third-team All-American in 1995 and 1996. Minor twice led the Big 12 in scoring.

He also played baseball at Oklahoma, a three-year star for former head coach Larry Cochell and was on the Sooners 1994 national championship team and a member of the College World Series All-Tournament Team that season.

Minor was selected in both the Major League Baseball Draft and the NBA Draft. He was selected in the seventh round of the 1995 MLB Draft by the New York Mets but did not sign. The following year, he was selected in the 33rd round by the Baltimore Orioles.

Minor played four MLB seasons for the Orioles (1998-2001) and will best be remembered as the player who replaced Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. in the starting lineup after Ripken's record-setting consecutive game streak ended.

Minor played his last game in the major leagues in 2001 with the Montreal Expos. He played with some independent teams for several years before retiring as a player in 2005. He followed up his playing career as an assistant coach and manager in the minor leagues from 2006-21.

The former Oklahoma Sooner star also played in the NBA. He was a second-round selection by the Philadelphia 76ers in the 1996 NBA Draft. The 76ers had selected Alan Iverson in the first round. Minor's NBA career was a short on, however. He was released after seven preseason games and played the rest of the season with the Oklahoma City Cavalry in the Continental Basketball Association.

""The ultimate warrior and a fierce competitor. The best 3-level scorer I ever coached.""

Former Sooner head coach Kelvin Sampson

A month ago, it was announced that Minor was going to be inducted into the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame.