Hometown: Philadelphia, PA (West Philadelphia)
Position: F Playing Height: 6-7 Playing Weight: 215
Date of Birth: November 15, 1960
Date of Death: December 5, 2021
Additional Photos: (1) (2) (3) (4) (5)
Action Photos: (1) (2) (3) (4) (5)
Game by Game Statistics
Scholastic Coach All-American
Kentucky Career Notes:
Transferred to Rutgers
Obituary - Rutgers Men's Basketball Remembers Clarence Tillman, Key Member of 1983 Team, Rutgers Skarletknights.com (December 7, 2021) by Chris Corso
PISCATAWAY, N.J. - The Rutgers men's basketball family mourns the loss of Scarlet Knights legend Clarence Tillman, who passed away on Sunday.
The 6-foot-8 forward played three seasons for the Scarlet Knights from 1980-83 and averaged 11.7 points-per-game during his time in Piscataway.
Tillman was one of the top contributors to the magical run during 1982-83 season, where Rutgers finished (23-8) and made it to the second round of the NCAA Tournament, defeating Louisiana 60-53 on Friday, March 18, 1983.
Tillman was RU's leading scorer in the victory over Louisiana with 11 points in 21 minutes played. The victory would go on be the only RU win in the NCAA Tournament, until the 2020-21 team defeated Clemson 60-56 last season. The Scarlet Knights would play down to the wire in the Sweet Sixteen against St. John's and future NBA Hall of Famer Chris Mullin.
"We are deeply saddened by the passing of Clarence Tillman," head coach Steve Pikiell said. "Clarence was one of the all-time great Scarlet Knights and of course a cherished member of the 1983 team. Our program has been built on the contributions that legends like Clarence made, and we look to honor him on and off the court."
Clarence who was nicknamed "Eggy", grew up in West Philadelphia and became a household name in his home city in the 1970s. In his three years at West Philadelphia High School, his team lost just one game.
West Philadelphia High become the nation's top team during his junior season in 1977. Tillman led his high school to a 30-0 record in 1977. In his three seasons, his high school team had a run where they won an impressive 68 games in a row.
Tillman was honored in the first-ever McDonald's All-American after his senior season and was ranked as the number one small forward in the nation.
Tillman was the first-ever McDonald's All American from the state of Pennsylvania and the game was played at the Philadelphia Spectrum.
The forward went on to play his first year of college basketball at the University of Kentucky in 1978, before transferring to Rutgers for his final three years of eligibility.
Tillman would go on to play professional basketball for a few seasons in the Continental Basketball Association. Following his stint in the CBA, Tillman took his talents internationally to Europe, South America and the Caribbean. Tillman played overseas professionally for 13 seasons. Tillman lived with his wife Carol and dog Lucky in his home of South Philadelphia.
Rutgers Athletics will hold a moment of silence pregame at Jersey Mike's Arena before the team takes on Purdue on Thursday night at 7:00 p.m.
West Philadelphia High Basketball Legend Clarence "Eggy" Tillman Leaves Behind a Great Legacy The Philadelphia Sunday Sun (December 10, 2021) by Napolean F. Kingcade
Legendary West Philadelphia High basketball star Clarence "Eggy" Tillman died at home on Sunday, Dec. 5 after a long illness. He was 60 years old.
In 1978, Tillman, a 6' 8" power forward from West Philadelphia High School, played in the first McDonald's All-American Game [sic, JPS note there was actually a McDonald's All-American game the previous year but that was National All-Stars vs. Washington D.C. area all-stars rather than East vs. West format] at the Philadelphia Spectrum. The talented Speedboys star became the team's all-time leading scorer in the school's history. Tillman started his college basketball career at the University of Kentucky before transferring to Rutgers University after his freshman year and becoming one of the top scorers on the team.
In his senior year at Rutgers, Tillman led the Scarlet Knights to the Sweet 16. In that game, the Scarlet Knights lost to St. John, 66-55. St. John's Chris Mullin scored 24 points. But the Scarlet Knights' Tillman was the top scorer on his team. He played 25 minutes and led his team with 16 points.
He had a jump shot that was out of sight.
Once his college basketball career was over, Tillman played professional basketball in Europe, South America, and the Caribbean. He finished his pro-career as a great shooter.
In 2017, after learning about his illness, many of his high school teammates gathered together and set up a Go-Fund-Me page so he could get a motorized scooter to help him get around. They raised over $10,000. . Tillman was thankful for what his teammates did for him, and when he received the scooter, they all gathered for lunch and had a great celebration.
Because of Tillman's mobility issues and other physical ailments, a stairway railing was built by two of his high school teammates, Vincent Ross and Greg McKinney. The railing stretched from the basement to Tillman's bedroom and made life easier for him. It was a good deed Tillman would never forget.
At West Philadelphia High, Tillman had played on a great squad, loaded with talent which included Gene Banks, Darryl "City Lights" Warrick, Mike Nichols, Mike Powell, James "Pee Wee" Thomas, Vincent Ross, Timmy Smith, Joe Garrett, Lou Crawley, Gregory McKinney, Randy Barr, Donald Watkins, Ron Williams, Terry Scott and Tyrell Biggs. The Speedboys won 104 of 106 games over a four-year span.
In 1977, they went 30-0 for the season and were named the best high school basketball team in the nation after winning the national title in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Together, they won three City Championships and three Public League titles. The Speedboys remained a winning team until the mid 1980s.
In 1978, Tillman was named and placed on the McDonald's All-American team. He was one of two players from Philadelphia who was selected. The other was Reggie Jackson who played for Roman Catholic High. Tillman was also named to the Parade All-American team and the Scholastic Coach All-American team.
On June 6, 2014, the 1977 West Philadelphia Speedboys were recognized for their big accomplishments inside at the new West Philadelphia High School, located at 49th and Chestnut Street. Tillman and several of his teammates were honored on that day by former principal Mary Dean and her staff. The West Philadelphia High gym was packed with Speedboys fans who came out to give honor to the team. Inside the gym, they raised the national championship banner. Clarence Tillman, along with Gene Banks, Darryl Warrick, Mike Powell, and Joe Garrett, smiled in front of the cameras.
In 2017, Tillman was inducted into the Philadelphia Black Basketball Hall of Fame.
Just a week ago, Joe Garrett had just talked to Tillman on the phone. Garrett said they were talking about the Philadelphia 76ers. They were joking about coming out of retirement and playing for the team.
"Since he (Tillman) passed away, I haven't been able to get much sleep," Garrett said. "The reality of it hasn't really hit me yet. It's more like a dream and more of, like, a shock. It's something that you don't want to believe. Clarence Tillman was the one who convinced me to come to West Philadelphia High School to play basketball. We were friends since we were both teenagers."
Tillman is survived by his wife Carol and a host of family and friends. As of press time, funeral arrangements were pending.