FORMER Boston Celtics center and Syracuse star Fab Melo died in his native Brazil on Saturday (Sunday, Manila time).
Reports said the 26-year old professional basketball player died in his sleep.
The Celtics selected Melo, the Big East Defensive Player of the Year, with the 22nd overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft.
"He was a really good kid, and it's not fair that he will be defined by one thing: a 10-page paper," said Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim. Melo was suspended in the 2011-2012 season due to academics.
Celtics president for basketball operations Danny Ainge shared his condolences on Twitter.
“I'm so saddened to hear of the passing of Fab Melo. He was a good kid with a big heart. Our prayers go out to all of his loved ones.”
Melo saw limited action with the Celtics, playing six games with the team and alternating his time with the NBA D-League Maine Red Claws before being traded. He was waived by the Memphis Grizzlies and Dallas Mavericks.
The 7-foot center returned to Brazil in 2014 and last played for UniCEUB or Brasilia.