Marvin Webster is playing for the New York Knicks in this 1984 photo.
Marvin Webster is playing for the New York Knicks in this 1984 photo. (By Mike Kullen -- Associated Press)
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Thursday, April 9, 2009

Marshall Brement Diplomat

Marshall Brement, 77, a career Foreign Service officer and expert in Sino-Soviet affairs who became U.S. ambassador to Iceland before retiring in 1985, died April 6 at a hospice near his home in Tucson. He had multiple myeloma, a bone marrow cancer.

Mr. Brement served on the National Security Council as a Soviet adviser to President Jimmy Carter and was a deputy to U.S. Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick at the United Nations before being appointed to Reykjavik in 1981. The New York native spent almost 30 years in the Foreign Service and was a counselor for political affairs in Jakarta, Saigon, Moscow and Madrid in the 1970s.

After leaving Iceland, he spent four years at the Naval War College in Newport, R.I., where he directed an advisory think tank to the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations. From 1999 to 2002, he was an international affairs professor at the University of Virginia. He was fluent in several languages, including two Chinese dialects, Russian, French, Spanish and Hebrew.

His books included "Reaching Out to Moscow: From Confrontation to Cooperation" (1991) and a political novel set in Vietnam, "Day of the Dead" (2006). He also translated and edited two volumes of Icelandic poetry.

Marvin Webster Basketball Player

Marvin Webster, 56, a shot-blocking center who helped lead the Seattle SuperSonics to the 1978 NBA finals, was found dead in a hotel bathtub in Tulsa on April 6. Foul play is not suspected, police said, but the cause of death has not been determined. Mr. Webster had been living at the hotel.

Known as "The Human Eraser," the 7-foot-1 Mr. Webster averaged 16.1 points during the SuperSonics' playoff run in 1978.

He was born in Baltimore and played in college at Morgan State University. He played with the Denver Nuggets before his one season with Seattle, when he averaged 14 points and finished ninth in the NBA with 12.6 rebounds and 1.9 blocked shots a game. The Sonics lost the finals to the Washington Bullets in seven games that year, one season before winning their only NBA title.

Mr. Webster later played six years with the New York Knicks before missing two seasons because of hepatitis. He attempted a comeback with Milwaukee in 1986 but retired after 15 games.

His son, Marvin Webster Jr., played college basketball at Temple University but died during his sophomore year at 18 after a heart attack.

-- From staff and wire reports

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