From the Austin American-Statesman’s Blotter :

Austin Toros basketball coach Dennis Wayne Johnson, 52, has died, officials said. Johnson, a former Boston Celtics player, was taken by ambulance to Brackenridge Hospital after apparently falling ill at the Austin Convention Center today.

Warren Hassinger, spokesman for Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Services, said paramedics responded to a call at the Austin Convention Center at 12:13 p.m. today.

Johnson was in an exhibit hall when paramedics arrived and was in cardiac arrest, said Hassinger, who would only describe the EMS response but declined to identify the patient.

Emergency workers tried at the scene to resuscitate Johnson for more than 20 minutes before taking him to Brackenridge Hospital, where hospital workers declared him dead a short time later.

Thanks to Tim Cook for the link to the sad story above. DJ (above, middle) was in his second season coaching Austin’s D-League entry, and for the 2nd consecutive campaign, had fashioned the Toros into a credible unit after a slow start. Austin began the season 0-12 before going on their current 15-5 tear. As of this writing, there’s no word from the Toros whether or not Friday’s game with Ft. Worth will take place as scheduled.

(UPDATE : The Toros announced early this evening that Friday and Satuday’s games against Ft. Worth and Tulsa will be rescheduled at a later date.)

(UPDATE DOS : Shira Springer’s obit for DJ in the Boston Globe)