Photo from HOWARD SIMMONS, NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
According to a report by ESPN , Fab Melo, the 22nd overall pick in the 2012 NBA draft, has died at the age of 26.
According to the Military Police, Melo, who had been playing professionally in his home country, was found dead in his home Saturday morning.
“We don’t know the cause yet,” Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim told ESPN. “It’s so hard right now, so hard to believe. It’s a sad, sad day.”
Melo played for Jim Boeheim for two years, where he was suspended during the 2011-2012 season, and then was declared ineligible for the NCAA tournament due to academic issues. Syracuse fell short of a Final Four berth that year. Melo’s academic ineligibility ended up being part of a larger investigation that resulted in NCAA sanctions that wiped all 34 of Syracuse’s wins from the record book.
After he finished playing Syracuse , Melo was drafted 22nd overall by the Boston Celtics in 2012. He briefly spent time playing with the Boston Celtics, Memphis Grizzlies and Dallas Mavericks organizations before joining a Brazilian league in 2014.
In 2014, he first signed with a Brazilian team, Club Athletico Paulistano.
This season Melo had played for Uniceub-BRB-Brasilia.
“He was a really good kid, and it’s not fair that he will be defined by one thing, a 10-page paper,” Boeheim told ESPN. “He worked his tail off to become a really good player, and was a nice kid.”
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