Sean Rooks, the 6’10” forward who had played for a dozen years in the NBA then most recently had been a player development specialist with the Philadephia 76ers, has unexpectedly passed away at the age of 46.
Rooks had interviewed earlier on Tuesday to join Jeff Hornacek’s new staff in New York, and was out having dinner in Philadephia when he collapsed in a restaurant, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports. Rooks had worked for the Sixers the past two seasons.
The Sixers released this statement on behalf of his mother, Deborah Brown:
“It is with deep sadness and overwhelming grief that we mourn the sudden loss of my son, Sean. Our family asks that our privacy be respected as we grieve during this incredibly difficult time.”
Rooks was well liked by players, and several took to social media to express their condolences and feelings.
Rooks grew up in the Fontana area east of Los Angeles in Southern California, then went on to play four years in college at Arizona. He was drafted in the second round by the Mavericks, and also went on to play for the Timberwolves, Lakers, Clippers, Hawks, Hornets, and Magic.
As a coach he had spent five seasons in the NBA D-League and was working his way up the ladder.
Our thoughts go out to his family and friends.