LANHAM, Md. (CBSDC) — A push to erect a statue of former University of Maryland basketball star Len Bias at his Prince George’s County high school has been shelved after residents questioned the message the monument would send to students.

Bias starred at Northwestern High School in Hyattsville and then at the College Park school before dying from a cocaine overdose 27 years ago.

State Sen. Victor Ramirez, of Cheverly, who also attended Northwestern, proposed a bill Feb. 7 requesting a $50,000 bond to erect the statue. Ramirez since has rescinded his request after county residents raised concerns about portraying Bias as a positive role model.

Ramirez believes Bias, who was the Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year in 1985 and 1986, still is a positive role model in the D.C. area, especially to underprivileged children, but understands not everyone agrees.

Bias was found dead in his on-campus dorm room the day after he was drafted second overall by the Boston Celtics in the 1986 NBA Draft at the age of 22. Reports said he died of heart failure which was caused by cocaine.

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