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For Len Bias’ mother, loss came with a mission

Thirty years after the death of two sons, Len Bias' mother's mission is to save the lives of young people.

Washington – It has been 30 years since the death of Len Bias, one of the University of Maryland’s greatest basketball stars.

It was June 1986. Len Bias was 22 and had just been drafted by the Boston Celtics when he died from “cocaine intoxication.”

His mother Dr. Lonise Bias said she remembers it as being an exciting time. Her son just had been drafted into the NBA.

But the nightmare started when she received a phone call that her son was dead. “We don’t realize we are in the good life, that is until the nightmare comes.” Bias said.

She thought her life could not get any worse. But it did, it got a whole lot worse.

She lost a second son. “Forty-two months later after Len’s death, Jay dies. I’m ready to throw in the towel,” she said in an interview with NBC4.

Jay Bias was 20 years old when he was killed in a drive-by shooting at a shopping center in Prince George’s County in December 1990.

At the time she thought she would never see light again in her life. She was shrouded in complete darkness. But she says her family is one of faith and it is her faith that got her through.

“You just don’t wake up and gather up strength after going through such tragedies,” she said.

Her mission then became clear and that mission is to save the lives of young people.

As a community activist and motivational speaker her message is one of hope, lifting up young people, empowering them and helping them navigate through life.

“Out of the deaths of my two sons came a mission. That’s why I stand here today clothed in my right mind,” Bias said.

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