Former Portugal Star Dies

28 February 2008

Portuguese basketball is in mourning following the sudden and unexpected death of former international Mike Plowden.

The 49-year-old, who was renowned for being a tenacious player on defense, was coaching Quintajense in Portugal's lower divisions and collapsed in training on Tuesday and died.

Former Angola international Jean Jacques da Conceicao, a teammate of Plowden's at Benfica, said to Basketball World News: "It is not just a loss for Portuguese Basketball. It is a worldwide loss as he was an easygoing person.

"He had the ability to make friends easily, everywhere he went. He was a very correct person. Sometimes, because he was too honest, it went against him.

"Our European success must be stamped with Mike's name, for sure."

The American-born Plowden moved to Portugal in the early 1980s to play for Barreirense.

He caught the attention of Benfica and they signed him.

It was with the Portuguese giants that Plowden achieved the major successes of his career.

Plowden became a Portuguese citizen at the age of 29 and played for his adopted country 61 times.

In the 1990s, under coach Mario Palma, Plowden helped Benfica achieve their best-ever results in Europe with victories over clubs like CSKA Moscow, Panathinaikos, Cibona Zagreb, Partizan Belgrade and Real Madrid.

Plowden's son, Rafael, is a player at Quintajense.

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