Sean Rooks, an NBA coach and former player, died Tuesday shortly after interviewing with the New York Knicks for an assistant coaching job, the New York Post reported. He was 46.
Rooks, who spent the previous two seasons as an assistant coach with the Philadelphia 76ers, had just returned from his meeting with the Knicks when he died suddenly at a Philadelphia restaurant, the Post reported. The cause of death could not be confirmed at the time of publication.
The 6-foot-10 journeyman center averaged 6.2 points and 3.8 rebounds a game in a 12-year career that included stints with the Lakers and Clippers. He later became the 76ers’ player development coach.
“It is with a profound deal of sadness that we mourn the sudden loss of a beloved son, father and friend, Sean Rooks,” the 76ers' managing co-owners Josh Harris and David Blitzer said in a statement to the Philadelphia Inquirer. "Words simply cannot express the heartbreak and shock our entire organization is feeling over this loss."
Rooks' mother, Deborah Brown, said she felt "overwhelming grief," the Inquirer reported.
Lute Olson, Rooks' coach at the University of Arizona, told Tucson News Now, "His positivity was something I'll always remember."