NYDailyNews Fab Melo, who was a center at Syracuse before moving to Brazil to play basketball professionally, died in his native South American country on Saturday. He was 26. Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim told ESPN the cause of death is not yet known, but according to a report from Brazil, Melo died in his sleep. He lived with his mother and two sisters. The Boston Celtics drafted Melo with the 22nd overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, the same year he was named Big East Defensive Player of the Year. “He was a really good kid, and it’s not fair that he will be defined by one thing: a 10-page paper,” Boeheim said, referencing Melo’s suspension in the 2011-2012 season due to academics. “He worked his tail off to become a really good player and was a nice kid. It’s so hard right now, so hard to believe. It’s a sad, sad day.”
Sad and shocking news out of Brazil this morning, as former Syracuse University star and 2012 Big East Defensive Player of the Year Fab Melo has died at the far too young age of 26, he passed away in his sleep of unknown causes. Fab Melo was a 7′ 260 pound center who starred for two years at Syracuse, but he struggled to stay eligible academically, and declared for the 2012 NBA Draft after his sophomore season. Fab Melo was selected 22nd overall by the Boston Celtics, he only played six games for the Celtics spending most of his time in the NBA Developmental League, where he set the league record with 14 blocked shots in a game. In the same game, Melo recorded a triple double, with 15 points, 16 rebounds and 14 blocks. Melo was eventually traded to the Grizzlies, was released, and had been playing professionally in his native Brazil at the time of his death. Rest In Peace Fab Melo, gone way too soon, we are thinking of your family and friends at this sad time.