STANFORD, Calif. -- Peter Sauer, a former captain at Stanford who helped lead the Cardinal to the 1998 Final Four, has died. He was 35.
The school said yesterday that Sauer died Sunday night in White Plains while playing in an adult league recreational basketball game.
"Peter was a guy who when he stepped on the court, he always played with a huge heart," former teammate and current Stanford assistant coach Mark Madsen said. "He was a great shooter and a tough guy, but when he went off the court, his heart and the amount he cared about people was even bigger."
Stanford's coaching staff received details that Sauer was shooting free throws after a game, collapsed and hit his head. He couldn't be revived after 20 minutes by EMTs. He was later pronounced dead at a hospital. The White Plains mayor's office said Sauer hadn't complained of not feeling well before collapsing. An autopsy was under way.
Sauer averaged 7.9 points and 4.2 rebounds for his career, including 9.2 points during his junior season. Madsen recalled the guts Sauer showed during the Final Four run by returning from a knee injury to knock down a 3-pointer in the closing seconds of the Cardinal's 86-85 overtime loss to Kentucky in the NCAA semifinals. Sauer finished with 10 points, seven rebounds and a blocked shot.
"You wanted the ball in Pete's hands late in the game," Madsen said. "He wanted the pressure and to shoot late in the game." Montgomery, now coaching at California, called Sauer "the epitome of the definition of a student-athlete. He was smart; he was tough; he was a winner."
Sauer, who was born in St. Louis, earned a degree in economics from Stanford. He had worked until recently in investments for Bank of America in New York.