Some terribly unfortunate news has come across the Sixers community, as The Undefeated's Marc J. Spears reports that 76ers assistant coach Sean Rooks passed away today at just 46 years old.
It saddens to report Sixers assistant coach & ex-NBA center Sean Rooks, 46, passed away in Philadelphia today, sources told @TheUndefeated.— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpearsESPN) June 7, 2016
Sean Rooks was a gentle giant who always greeted me with warmth. He was on the verge of being hired as Hornets' D-League coach,sources said.— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpearsESPN) June 8, 2016
Rooks spent 12 seasons in the NBA from 1992 to 2004, suiting up for the Dallas Mavericks, Minnesota Timberwolves, Atlanta Hawks, Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, New Orleans Hornets and Orlando Magic along the way before briefly playing overseas.
Beginning in 2007, Rooks spent several years as an assistant NBA D-League coach for the Bakersfield Jam, New Mexico Thundebirds and Sioux Falls Force until finally catching on in the NBA as a member of head coach Brett Brown's staff in Philadelphia over the last two seasons.
Thoughts are with Rooks' family at this time.
UPDATE: Sixers head coach Brett Brown, currently on a trip in Turkey to see Dario Saric, released a statement through the team on Rooks' passing:
I learned of this tragic news in the early morning hours last night. Sean Rooks was a wonderful person with a kind soul who deserved to live longer than he did. Sean was with me for two years and helped our young players and coaching staff by sharing his experiences in such an endearing way.
It was exciting for me to sit with him recently and see the enthusiasm he had while preparing to interview for the Head Coach position with an NBA D-League team. We would role-play, ask each other different questions, and when he left I felt like he had a real chance to make a significant advancement in his own coaching career.
When he was offered the position just a few days later, we spoke of the challenges, growth and responsibility that would help him personally move his career forward as a head coach. He was genuinely excited by this offer, as well as other job opportunities that were coming his way.
He meant so much to so many people. We are all deeply saddened by his loss and extend our condolences to his family during this time. He will be missed.