LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Mel Turpin, former NBA player an All-American Kentucky center, has died. He was 49.

Police and the coroner were called to his North Lexington house Thursday afternoon on a personal injury call. They found Turpin dead.

Coroner Gary Ginn says that Turpin had committed suicide, but would not say how. He also would not say whether Turpin left behind a suicide note.

The 6-foot-11 Turpin, dubbed “The Big Dipper,” was an All-Southeastern Conference player for the Wildcats from 1980-84. He led Kentucky to the SEC championship in 1984.

The center helped lead the Wildcats to three consecutive regular-season SEC titles. He averaged a career-high 15.2 points per game in 1983-84 and shot 74.5 percent from the field.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.