Gone too soon. Fab Melo, a former Syracuse Orange and Boston Celtics center, tragically died at the young age of 26, according to several reports on Feb. 11. The athlete passed away in his home country of Brazil. Keep reading for the heartbreaking details.
Fabricio Paulino de Melo, known as Fab Melo, tragically died at the age of 26 in his home country of Brazil on Feb. 11, according to New York Times reporter Adam Zagoria. Fab lived with his mother and two sisters, and allegedly went to sleep last night and never woke up. The athlete is best known for his days as a standout center on Syracuse Orange men’s basketball team, earning the title Big East Defensive Player of the Year during his sophomore season. The Boston Celtics also drafted Fab with the 22nd overall pick in 2012 and he went on to play six NBA games.
— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) February 12, 2017
Fab also spent time with the Maine Red Claws and Texas Legends of the D-League in 2014, before heading back to Brazil to play in his home country. Taking to social media, the Red Claws team even wrote a tribute to the late 7-foot-tall athlete with a heartwarming post. It read, “Fab Melo still holds the @nbadleague record for 14 blocks in a single game. Rest In Peace, Fab.” He signed with Liga Sorocabana in Nov. 2015, continuing to pursue his dreams with vigor.
“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 told ESPN. “He worked his tail off to become a really good player and was a nice kid.” Jim continued, “It’s so hard right now, so hard to believe. It’s a sad, sad day.”
The inspiring athlete clearly touched the lives of everyone he knew. One devastated fan took to social media to pay his respects, writing, “RIP Fab Melo… you died too young .. you was that deal at Syracuse🙏🏾💰,” while another added, “Reporter from Brazil saying Fab Melo’s cause of death is suspected to be from a heart attack. At age 26. Terribly sad.” Clearly, he will be missed.
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