This is devastating news.
Fab Melo, the former Syracuse star out of Brazil who was drafted No. 22 by the Celtics in 2012, has died at the age of 26. He died at his home in Brazil, the country he had returned to and played professionally. Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim confirmed the news to ESPN.
“He was a really good kid, and it’s not fair that he will be defined by one thing: a 10-page paper,” Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim told ESPN shortly after hearing Melo had died at his mother’s house. “He worked his tail off to become a really good player and was a nice kid.”
“We don’t know the cause yet,” a shaken Boeheim added. “It’s so hard right now, so hard to believe. It’s a sad, sad day.”
The 10-page paper Boeheim refers to is an academic scandal that landed Syracuse in trouble.
Melo was a project on the NBA level. He played just six games for the Celtics — he spent a chunk of time in the D-League for them — and was traded to Memphis and waived. Dallas gave him a training camp invite but he didn’t make the regular season roster.
Our thoughts are with his family and friends. Whatever the cause, 26 is entirely too young to see someone pass.