Former Syracuse center Fab Melo dies at 26

The center was even named the Big East's Defensive Player Of The Year in 2012.

"He was a really good kid, and it's not fair that he will be defined by one thing, a 10-page paper", Boeheim said, according to ESPN. "He worked his tail off to become a really good player, and was a nice kid".

The cause of death is still waiting to be confirmed, but a Business Insider report suggests that Melo had a heart attack. Prior to his death, Melo was playing back home for Brazilian club team Uniceb-BRB-Brasilia.

He added: "We don't know the cause yet".

During the 2011-2012 season, Melo was suspended twice - the second time right before the start of the NCAA Tournament - for academic-related issues. Though it's not clear how he died, reports indicate he was found in bed at his mother's home. "It's a sad, sad day".

After the season, Fab Melo declared for the NBA Draft. The Boston Celtics also drafted Fab with the 22nd overall pick in 2012 and he went on to play six National Basketball Association games. He averaged 7.8 points and 5.8 rebounds in over 25 minutes per game his sophomore year.

Fab Melo #13 of the Boston Celtics poses for a portrait during the 2012 NBA Rookie Photo Shoot at the MSG Training Center on August 21, 2012 in Tarrytown, New York. He was eventually traded to the Memphis Grizzlies and later signed by the Dallas Mavericks, spending most of his time in the D-League. He was traded to the Grizzlies the following summer, but was waived and played in the National Basketball Association D-League before returning to his native Brazil. "Now I feel like I know what I'm dealing with".

  • Julie Sanders