Melvin Turpin

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Melvin Harrison Turpin (December 28, 1960 – July 8, 2010), who commonly went by Mel Turpin, was an American professional basketball player. He played college basketball at the University of Kentucky, and professionally in the NBA for the Cleveland Cavaliers, Utah Jazz and Washington Bullets. He also played briefly in Liga ACB in Spain.

After a brilliant college career, which saw Turpin set several SEC records, Turpin was considered a draft disappointment in the 1984 NBA draft class, which is considered by many to be the greatest NBA draft class in history (Hall of Famers from the class include Hakeem Olajuwon, Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, John Stockton and Oscar Schmidt - in the NBA, Jordan performed a rather famous dunk on Turpin). Turpin's relatively lackluster play in the professional ranks earned him many condescending nicknames, including Dinner Bell Mel and The Mealman. Other nicknames he obtained over his career include Big Dipper, and in Spain, El Mel and El Mucho Grande.

On July 8, 2010, Turpin committed suicide in his home in Lexington, Kentucky from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.