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Alec Christopher Kessler (January 13, 1967 – October 13, 2007) was an American college basketball player for the University of Georgia and later, as a professional, for the Miami Heat in the NBA and in the Italian league for Olimpia Stefanel Milano.[1] After his basketball career ended, he became an orthopedic surgeon.

Alec Kessler
Personal information
Born(1967-01-13)January 13, 1967
Minneapolis, Minnesota
DiedOctober 13, 2007(2007-10-13) (aged 40)
Gulf Breeze, Florida
Listed height6 ft 11 in (2.11 m)
Listed weight230 lb (104 kg)
Career information
High schoolRoswell (Roswell, Georgia)
CollegeGeorgia (1986–1990)
NBA draft1990 / Round: 1 / Pick: 12th overall
Selected by the Houston Rockets
Playing career1990–1994
Career history
19901994Miami Heat
1994Olimpia Stefanel Milano
Career highlights and awards
Career NBA statistics
Points1,084 (5.2 ppg)
Rebounds751 (3.6 rpg)
Stats at


Kessler played collegiately for the University of Georgia Bulldogs where he was a three-time academic all-American first-team selection as well as the national academic all-American of the year in 1989 and 1990.[2] Kessler left Georgia as the school's all-time leading scorer with 1,788 points (until the record was surpassed by Litterial Green[3]).

The 6' 11" power forward/center was selected 12th in the 1990 NBA Draft by the Houston Rockets, but his draft rights were immediately traded to the Miami Heat in exchange for the draft rights to Dave Jamerson and Carl Herrera.[4]

Kessler made some news during the 1991 NBA Playoffs when he went missing for days in the Bahamas while checking on honeymoon spots with his fiancé. He had failed to check in with family members and it prompted a two-day search until he was found safe.[5]

In his NBA career, he was a member of the Miami Heat for 210 games spanning four seasons until being waived on November 2, 1994 (prior to the start of the 1994-95 season).[6] He was played mostly as a backup center and held career averages of 5.2 points and 3.6 rebounds per game. He was still receiving $300,000 per annum from the Heat ten years after being cut.[1]

After the NBAEdit

After leaving the NBA, Kessler attended medical school at Emory University, graduating in 1999. He was an orthopedic surgeon in practice in Pensacola, Florida.[7]

Kessler died after suffering a heart attack during an informal basketball game in Gulf Breeze, Florida on October 13, 2007.[7] He was survived by his wife, Rhea, and two sons, Nickolas and Christopher.[7]


Alec Kessler's brother, Chad, also played for the Georgia Bulldogs basketball team, and Chad's son, Houston Kessler (Alec's nephew), signed a letter of intent to play for the Bulldogs in the 2012–13 season.[3]


  1. ^ a b Kessler Finds Job In Italy - Sun Sentinel
  2. ^ Bowers, Matt (June 3, 2005). "UGA Men's Basketball". New Georgia Encyclopedia. Archived from the original on March 19, 2007. Retrieved March 14, 2007.
  3. ^ a b Bulldogs sign son of former UGA basketball star Kessler | Athens Banner Herald Mobile
  4. ^ "HEAT: Key Dates and Transactions: 1990". Archived from the original on October 24, 2007. Retrieved August 9, 2007.
  5. ^
  6. ^ "HEAT: Key Dates and Transactions: 1994". Archived from the original on October 24, 2007. Retrieved August 9, 2007.
  7. ^ a b c Associated Press (October 14, 2007). "Former Georgia standout, No. 1 pick Kessler dies at 40". Archived from the original on October 15, 2007. Retrieved October 14, 2007.

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