Former Celtics, Syracuse Center Fab Melo Dies at Age 26

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistFebruary 12, 2017

FRISCO, TX - FEBRUARY 1:  Fab Melo #41 of the Texas Legends warms up before the game against Rio Grande Valley Vipers on February 1, 2014 at Dr. Pepper Arena in Frisco, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Sergio Hentschel/NBAE via Getty Images)
Sergio Hentschel/Getty Images

Former Syracuse Orange and Boston Celtics center Fab Melo was found dead on Saturday at the age of 26.

Adam Zagoria of the New York Times initially reported Melo's death.

"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 said, per Jeff Goodman of ESPN. "He worked his tail off to become a really good player, and was a nice kid. We don't know the cause yet. It's so hard right now, so hard to believe. It's a sad, sad day."

Jim Boeheim @therealboeheim

I'm very sorry to hear about the passing of Fab Melo. He was a kind, genuine person who was committed to doing his best while he was at ...

Jim Boeheim @therealboeheim

Syracuse. Our staff and his teammates were fortunate to have had the opportunity to know Fab. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family."

Born in Brazil in 1990, Melo made his mark in basketball during two seasons with Syracuse from 2010-12. He appeared in 63 games for the Orange, averaging 4.9 points and 3.8 rebounds per game while shooting 57.6 percent from the field.

Melo declared for the NBA draft after his sophomore season and was drafted by the Celtics with the 22nd overall pick in 2012. He only appeared in six games with the team during his rookie season and scored a total of seven points.

He also spent time in the NBA Development League while a member of the Celtics and after being traded to the Memphis Grizzlies.

Former Syracuse teammate C.J. Fair spoke about the news:

CJ Fair @cjfair

Sad day for Cuse. My brother Fab Melo passed away. I still can't believe the news. My condolences goes out to his family. Such a great guy

NBA skills trainer Rob McClanaghan commented on working with Melo:

Rob McClanaghan @RobMacNBA

I worked out Fab Melo a lot when he went pro. An extremely genuine person with lots of positive energy. Sad day.

In 2015, Melo told Jessica Camerato of Basketball Insiders he was hoping to make an NBA comeback.

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

In 2014, after two seasons in the D-League, Melo opted to go back to Brazil and play in the Novo Basquete Brasil league.


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