Danny Lotz, former UNC star and Billy Graham son-in-law, dies

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Former UNC basketball star Danny Lotz has died after being found unresponsive in his backyard pool Monday afternoon, his family has announced.

Former UNC basketball star Danny Lotz has died after being found unresponsive in his backyard pool Monday afternoon, his family has announced.

Lotz was also the husband of Anne Graham Lotz, evangelist Billy Graham's daughter.

In a statement, REX UNC Health Care said Lotz passed away Wednesday at 11:46 a.m. surrounded by his family.

Danny Lotz was a member of the 1957 Tar Heel basketball National Championship team. He was a forward on the team which went 32 - 0 that season.

UNC Athletics released the following statement regarding Lotz's death:

"The University of North Carolina and the Tar Heel basketball program extend our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Danny Lotz. He was a true gentleman and beloved member of our Tar Heel family. His brother, John, who passed away several years ago, was also a wonderful ambassador for the University as well as an outstanding basketball coach. Danny and his teammates permanently etched their names in the history books as members of the undefeated 1957 national champions, but his positive impact on people went far beyond basketball. Our prayers go out to the Lotz and Graham families and all of Danny's friends, colleagues and teammates."

According to Anne Graham Lotz's Facebook account, she was the one who discovered her husband Monday at their Raleigh home on Ponderosa Road, off Creedmoor Road.

REX Hospital said Lotz's heart stopped while he was swimming. Emergency workers were able to restart his heart.

"Since then, a team of compassionate medical professionals at Rex's ICU has worked tirelessly to restore Dr. Lotz's body. Every possible attempt was made, but his doctors determined this morning nothing more could be done and it was time to cease life-supportive measures," said the hospital.

"Dr. Lotz's wife Anne and their family would like to thank all of the physicians, nurses and caregivers at Rex for their compassionate and professional efforts to save his life and throughout the time of his physical challenges," said the statement. "The Lotz family appreciates all the prayers and expressions of love and support that have poured in this week, which the Lord has used to sustain them during this time. They respectfully ask for privacy as they mourn their loss and celebrate the life and legacy of a great husband, father and man of God."

Governor Pat McCrory also issued a statement.

"Ann and I were saddened today to hear the news about the death of Danny Lotz. Danny was a champion in so many ways. First as a member of UNC's 1957 undefeated national basketball championship team and then later in life as his faith led him to be a strong supporter and mentor of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and as a dedicated Bible study teacher. He was truly a North Carolina legend. We send our prayers to his wife Ann and the rest of their family in this truly difficult time," said the Governor.

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