Former Boston Celtics center Fab Melo passes away aged 26

2012 NBA Rookie Photo Shoot

Over the weekend, news broke that former Syracuse and Boston Celtics center Fab Melo passed away in his home country of Brazil.

He was just 26-years-old.

According to a report by Jeff Goodman of ESPN, Melo was found dead at his home in Juiz de Fora in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazilian police confirmed.

Tragically, it was his mother that found him dead Saturday morning, after he went to bed normally the night before.

There was no immediate cause of death that was released.

Los Angeles Lakers v Boston Celtics

Recently, Melo was playing professional ball in Brazil in the Novo Banquette Brasil league. This came after an unexpected route to the NBA, as he spent two years at Syracuse as an inexperienced student of the game and was surprisingly taken 22nd overall in the 2012 NBA Draft by the Boston Celtics despite putting up less-than-stellar college numbers.

He was drafted based on his potential, but unfortunately his NBA career didn’t work out, as he appeared in just six games and scored a total of seven points during his rookie year.

Los Angeles Lakers v Boston Celtics

He spent time in the D-League for both the Celtics and Memphis Grizzlies, to whom he was eventually traded. He was waived by them and then signed and waived by the Dallas Mavericks before the 2013-2014 season.

His college coach, the legendary Jim Boeheim, was clearly shaken up by the news. Here’s how he reacted via Twitter.

Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge also offered his condolences.

Unfortunately, Melo was eyeing an NBA return that now can never be pursued. In 2015, he told Jessica Camerato of Basketball Insiders that he believed he could return and be productive at the NBA level.

“I’ve learned a lot from what I’ve been through,” he said, “Now I feel like I know what I’m dealing with.”

By all accounts, he was a genuine person with a positive attitude and it’s just another example of a life gone too soon.

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