Reporter began career at age 16

Updated: March 19, 2004, 11:46 AM ET news services

ATLANTA -- Jeff Denberg, longtime Atlanta Hawks beat writer for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, died Thursday of complications from brain cancer.

Jeff Denberg

Denberg, 62, began his writing career at age 16 with The State newspaper in Columbia, S.C. He later was a basketball writer for Long Island's Newsday and sports editor of the Miami News before he returned writing for the Journal-Constitution in 1979.

"He knew the NBA as well as any journalist in the nation,'' said Don Boykin, a deputy managing editor at the Journal-Constitution. "Jeff made the sports section better every day.''

Denberg was also a regular contributor to, writing an NBA column beginning in 1997.

Denberg had fond memories of a trip to Russia with the Hawks, covering the 1992 Olympics and the 1996 Atlanta Games. Coaching youth league soccer was one of his favorite activities.

A graveside service will be at noon Sunday at the Synagogue B'rith Shalom Beth Israel cemetery in Charleston, S.C.

The Associated Press contributed to this report