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Remembering former ODU and Bayside High School great Mario Mullen

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The local sports community continues to mourn the loss of Mario Mullen.

The former Old Dominion basketball standout, who was the VHSL Group AAA player of the year at Bayside High School in Virginia Beach, died Friday night after a sudden medical emergency.

Mullen played in 108 games for ODU and was instrumental in the Monarchs’ triple-overtime victory over Villanova in the 1995 NCAA Tournament.

“He was the catalyst that helped us beat Villanova,” said former teammate and current ODU assistant coach Odell Hodge.

Mullen scored 16 points and had 10 rebounds in that win over the Wildcats.

After his freshman year at ODU, Mullen suffered a serious car accident and back injury. He was able to return to the court.

Current ODU head coach Mike Jones was a teammate of Mullen’s in the mid-1990s.

“We’ve lost a treasure,” Jones said. “He’s someone we’re going to make sure we do something to preserve his legacy and make sure people never forget who he was and the impact he had on Old Dominion men’s basketball.