Tag Archive | "Deaths"

Former NBA Player And 76ers Coach Sean Rooks Dies Hours After Knicks Meeting

Former NBA Player And 76ers Coach Sean Rooks Dies Hours After Knicks Meeting


sean rooks

Just hours after interviewing for an assistant coaching job with the New York Knicks on Tuesday, former NBA center and 76ers assistant coach Sean Rooks collapsed and died in a Philadelphia restaurant. The cause of death is unknown.

“It is with deep sadness and overwhelming grief that we mourn the sudden loss of my son, Sean,” his mother, Deborah Brown, said in a statement released by the 76ers that same night.

“Words simply cannot express the heartbreak and shock our entire organization is feeling over this loss,” 76ers co-managing owners Josh Harris and David Blitzer said about Rooks, “a beloved son, father and friend.”

“We are shocked and terribly saddened by the news of the death of Sean Rooks,”  Lakers President and Governor Jeanie Buss said in a statement. “During his time with the Lakers he was a true professional and was a favorite among teammates, coaches and staff. Sean was a friendly guy that everyone loved having around.”

Shaquille O’Neill, for whom Rooks had served as backup center during their time together with the Lakers, was one of the many who paid tribute to his former teammate on Twitter. Shaq shared a photo of him carrying Rooks and captioned it, “Rest In Heaven My Friend!”

Rooks played 12 years in the NBA, including three seasons each with the Lakers (from 1996 to 1999) and Clippers (2000 to 2003).

Photo via Video Screen Grab

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Kimbo Slice Dies At 42

Kimbo Slice Dies At 42

kimbo slice

Professional mixed martial artist Kimbo Slice died on Monday, according to a shocking report by Bellattor MMA.

The 6-foot heavyweight, whose real name is Kevin Ferguson, had been admitted to a hospital in Margate, Florida earlier that day for undisclosed reasons, according to a Coral Springs police who had been sent to the MMA artist’s home to prevent fans and paparazzi from gathering outside.

“We lost our brother today,” Slice’s longtime manager, Mike Imber, said in a text message to The Associated Press.


“We are all shocked and saddened by the devastating and untimely loss of Kimbo Slice, a beloved member of the Bellator family,” Bellator president Scott Coker also said in a statement about Slice, whom he described as “a charismatic, larger-than-life personality that transcended the sport.”

“Outside of the cage he was a friendly, gentle giant and a devoted family man. His loss leaves us all with extremely heavy hearts, and our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Ferguson family and all of Kimbo’s friends, fans, and teammates,” Coker added.

Slice, who previously fought for the UFC, was scheduled to headline Bellator 158 in London on July 16 against James Thompson. He had a 5-2 professional record with four TKOs.

He was 42.

Photo via Video Screen Grab

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Skydiving Takes Life Of MTV Star In Stunt Accident

Skydiving Takes Life Of MTV Star In Stunt Accident

erik roner skydiving

Skydiving took another one, and it’s MTV star Erik Roner. The 38-year-old action sports legend was in Lake Tahoe in California along with other skydivers when it happened.

According to a spokesperson for Squaw Valley Ski resort, Roner was performing a jump with the others when he hit a tree on the way down and suffered several injuries.

You may know Roner from his tie ups with Red Bull and from Travis Pastrana’s “Nitro Circus” show, where he was featured several times. He was survived by his wife and two children.

Photo via Erik Roner’s Instagram

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Former Bulls, Lakers Player Jack Haley Dies

Former Bulls, Lakers Player Jack Haley Dies

Basketball player Jack Haley

Jack Haley, a member of the record-setting Bulls back in 1996, has died on Monday at the Los Alamitos Medical Center in California. According to his family, it was because of a long battle with heart disease.

Some of you may know the 51-year-old 6-foot-10 forward-center from his nine seasons in the NBA. He played for the Chicago Bulls, New Jersey Nets, Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs during his nine season career, averaged 3.5 points and 2.7 rebounds. Although, he was MIA during the ’92-’93 season because of an injury.

Prior to being drafted by the Bulls as the 97th pick overall in 1987 out of UCLA, he played in Spain and was also part of the Boston Bruins team during the NIT championship in 1985.

Haley was known as Bulls star Dennis Rodman’s friend and, arguably, his baby sitter. Haley jokingly defended himself to the Chicago Tribune at the time, ”I’ve felt it’s important to be a part of the greatest team in history and to get out and show people I’m not Dennis’ babysitter. I never have been. I’ve been a basketball player from Day One.”

After hearing the news, Rodman posted a Twitter photo of Haley kissing him on the cheek, with the caption, ”RIP to my brother Jack Haley. Sending love to his family.” He later reposted the photo with the comment, “It was like the movie 2 men and a baby when we would have his kids with us! Loved Jack Haley like a brother. #RIP

Former Bulls star Scottie Pippen also tweeted, ”Very sorry to hear my old teammate, Jack Haley, has passed away. Great guy who I stayed in touch with over the years. RIP.”

Kentucky coach John Calipari, for whom Haley worked as an assistant for the Nets following his retirement, shared on Twitter, ”Jack was one of the most positive, upbeat guys I’ve ever been around. He was on that unbelievable 1996 championship team in Chicago. Sad day.”

As for his family, they also had beautiful words about the late athlete. They said in a statement on Tuesday through the Lakers, ”He cherished every moment and gave 100 percent whether on or off the court. And more than anything, Jack dearly loved his family. We are humbled and grateful for the outpouring of love, support, and prayers from around the country.”

Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak added that Haley was ”a hard worker and always very professional.” ”He was proud to wear the Lakers uniform, and he was always a credit to our organization and the Lakers family,” Kupchak explained.

Fellow Bulls player Stacey King also tweeted, “So sorry to hear of the passing of my guy and former Bulls teammate Jack Haley. He was one of my favorite teammates when I came to Chicago.”

Haley is survived by his sons Jack Jr. and Jeff, his mother Jeanette, brother Tim, sister Sondra and ex-wife Stacey.


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Boxer Dies Less Than Two Days After Losing 10-Round Fight

Boxer Dies Less Than Two Days After Losing 10-Round Fight

Red boxing gloves

Brandon Smith has died in a hospital in Brisbane, Australia just less than two days after losing a 10-round featherweight bout against Filipino boxer John Moralde over the weekend.

The 23-year-old undergraduate of law at the University of Southern Queensland, also known as “The Great White,” had been in an induced coma at the Princess Alexandra hospital since he collapsed 90 minutes after losing the WBC Asian Boxing Council continental title by unanimous points decision. He even praised Moralde and congratulated him before returning to the dressing room.

Family representative, James O’Shea, confirmed the news and added, “[Brandon] really wanted to change the image of boxing.” He added, “A lot of times in this country the sport gets a bad rap. A big goal of his life was to show people it’s not [a bad sport].”

O’Shea said the massive outpouring of support from the local and wider community was a testament to Smith’s upstanding reputation. “So many people looked up to him,” O’Shea added that so many people “looked up to him” for being humble and dedicated, which his fans and the boxing community definitely took notice of.

People have started using the hashtag #prayforbrayd for tweets of devastation and support. He was surrounded by family and his trainer since he was hospitalized.

Photo by whatmattdoes / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

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Former Florida Football Player Chris Johnson Commits Suicide

Former Florida Football Player Chris Johnson Commits Suicide

the late chris johnson

Former Florida football player Chris “Juice” Johnson has committed suicide last Friday, according to recent reports.

The Allegheny County medical examiner’s office ruled that the 22-year-old, who recently played for Duquesne following two seasons with the Gators, killed himself with a gun while in a car in Churchill.

“Everyone associated with the Duquesne football program is deeply saddened by the tragic loss of Chris,” Duquesne coach Jerry Schmitt said in a statement about Johnson’s death. “Chris was a passionate football player who was also a great teammate, who was loved by many. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Chris’ family at this difficult time.”

Johnson’s defensive coordinator at Trinity Catholic, Justin Wentworth, sadly told the Ocala Star-Banner, “I’m trying to peel it back as best I can. Nobody will ever know. When I texted with him on Wednesday, it was all good. You wouldn’t have known anything. You ask how everything’s going. ‘How’s life? How are classes going?'”

“He said everything was going good – typical upbeat, Juice stuff. Getting this news hurts deep. It’s a knife to the heart,” Wentworth continued.

Johnson’s last game at Florida was the 2013 Sugar Bowl loss to Louisville.

Photo by Duquesne University Athletics (via Ocala)

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