Alec Kessler

Alec Kessler, a captain of the 1990 Georgia basketball SEC championship team, died of an apparent heart attack in Pensacola, Fla., Saturday. He was 40.

Kessler, a native of Roswell who lived in Gulf Breeze, Fla., was a 1990 UGA graduate and 1999 graduate of the Emory University School of Medicine and an orthopedic surgeon in Pensacola. Kessler suffered the heart attack while playing pickup basketball.

Kessler was a reserve on Georgia's NCAA Tournament team of 1987. He was a three-time league all-star and became the seventh player in school history to earn All-America honors.

In his last collegiate game, Kessler became Georgia's all-time leading scorer with 1,788 points, a mark that was surpassed a year later by Litterial Green.

Kessler was named the CoSIDA Academic All-American of the Year in 1989 and 1990. He graduated magna cum laude from UGA in 1990 with a 3.9 grade point average in Microbiology.

He was the 12th pick overall in the 1990 NBA Draft, taken by Houston, who traded him to Miami. He played four seasons with the Heat before retiring and embarking upon his career in medicine.

Kessler, a 2000 inductee into the University of Georgia Circle of Honor, is survived by his wife Rhea and their two sons, Nicholas and Christopher.

Published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Oct. 14, 2007