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Former NBA center Sean Rooks passes away

The former NBA player was in line for a coaching role with the New York Knicks.

Sean Rooks
Rooks (L) played for a number of teams in the NBA

Former NBA player Sean Rooks passed away on Tuesday in a Philadelphia restaurant. Rooks had appeared for an interview for the post of assistant coach for the New York Knicks a few hours prior to his death. 

Rooks was part of the Philadelphia 76ers coaching staff for the past two years and had travelled to New York on Tuesday to meet with the Knicks’ head coach, Jeff Hornacek. He also met other members of the Knicks franchise that included Steve Mills and Phil Jackson.

The former NBA player was expected to travel to China on Wednesday for an NBA trip. Rooks also had the chance to be the head coach of a new NBA Development League team which is affiliated to the Charlotte Hornets.  

“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 on Tuesday night. “Our family asks that our privacy be respected as we grieve during this incredibly difficult time.”

Drafted to the NBA in 1992

The 46-year-old was drafted to the NBA in 1992 and was picked 30th overall by the Dallas Mavericks. Rooks played as a center in the NBA and represented teams such as the Mavericks, Minnesota Timberwolves, Atlanta Hawks, Orlando Magic and both Los Angeles teams, amongst others.

Rooks retired in 2004 and started coaching in the D-League for the Bakersfield Jam. His big break in the NBA coaching scene came when he joined the Phoenix Suns in their player development staff. From 2014 he joined the 76ers and had been part of their coaching team since.  

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