Memphis Basketball Player Karim Sameh Azab Dies of Leukemia at Age 22

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistNovember 16, 2018

MEMPHIS, TN - NOVEMBER 6: A general view of FedExForum during a game between the Memphis Tigers and the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles on November 6, 2018 at FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee. Memphis defeated Tennessee Tech 76-61. (Photo by Joe Murphy/Getty Images)
Joe Murphy/Getty Images

Karim Sameh Azab, a forward for the University of Memphis basketball team, died at the age of 22 on Thursday. 

Per Tammy DeGroff of the Tigers' official website, the school announced Azab's death nine months after he was diagnosed with leukemia.  

Memphis president M. David Rudd issued a statement regarding the death of Azab:

"The University of Memphis is deeply saddened by the passing of Karim Azab. It is never easy when someone so young has their life cut short. Karim showed great courage battling with tremendous fight and determination. He was proud of being a Tiger, and Karim will be missed immensely. Our thoughts are with his family, as well as his friends, teammates and fellow UofM students, faculty and staff. The spirit of Karim will never be forgotten at the University of Memphis." 

Azab announced on Twitter in April he had been diagnosed with leukemia lymphoma and already started to undergo treatment. 

In 15 games as a sophomore last season, Azab scored a total of 15 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. 

Originally from Egypt, Azab won a gold medal with the national team at the 2014 FIBA Africa Under-18 Championships. He committed to Memphis in October 2016 after playing high school basketball at Hales Franciscan in Chicago. 



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