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The NBA player that went missing and was never found.

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Bison Dele (formerly known as Brian Williams) was an NBA player who played from 1991-1999. He was on the 1997 Bulls championship team and was just entering his prime. Unfortunatley, his career was cut short after he mysteriously disappeared.

After playing for two seasons at Arizona, he was drafted in the first round of the 1991 NBA Draft by the Orlando Magic. He played for 5 team’s through 8 seasons, while making a name for himself in 1997, when he signed with the Chicago Bulls nine games before the end of the season. He established himself as an essential part of the rotation as he was the backup center and played a role in winning the championship. After that season he would sign with the Detroit Pistons and get a starting role. The formerly know Brian Williams changed his name to Bison Dele to honor his Native American and African ancestry, and as so played two seasons while averaging 16.2 ppg and 8.9 RPG.

He was only 30 years old and had a contract offer of 36.45 million $ through five years, but decided to turn it down and retire. It has also been theorized he had never been especially passionate about playing basketball and felt he had earned enough money to allow him to walk away from the pro game and lifestyle. He also had family problems, mostly cash related.

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On July 6, 2002, Dele and his girlfriend, along with his brother and the skipper, sailed from Tahiti on Dele’s catamaran. Dele’s brother, Miles Dabord, was the only one to return from that trip. Dele’s catamaran was found off the coast of Tahiti with its nameplate removed and some possible bullet holes patched. Dabord had forged his brother’s signature to buy US$152,000 worth of gold under his brother’s name, as he used Dele’s passport as identification.

The FBI became involved in the investigation along with the French authorities and concluded that Dele, his girlfriend, and the skipper were probably killed and then thrown overboard, or forced to walk off the boat into the ocean, by Dabord. Given that the bodies were likely dumped in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, it would be highly unlikely that the three would ever be found.

In his account of events, Dabord said he and his brother had fought, that Dele’s girlfriend had been accidentally hit and died when her head struck part of the boat. The captain had wanted to report her death, and a panicking Dele killed him. Dabord then shot his brother in self-defense, threw the bodies overboard, and fled back to the U.S.

Dabord, the only first-person source of information regarding the case, intentionally overdosed on insulin and slipped into a coma. On September 27, 2002, Dabord died in a California hospital, as the bodies of Bison Dele, his girlfriend, and the Capitan till this day haven’t been found.

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