Former NBA Player Fab Melo FOUND DEAD In Brazil At 26

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Former Syracuse big man and NBA Boston Celtics player, Fab Melo, has passed away. He was only 26. According to reports, Melo was found dead at his home in Brazil.

7-foot Melo was a standout college basketball player at Syracuse and had a brief stint in the NBA with the Celtics but spent most of the season with the Maine Red Claws, Boston’s team in the NBA D-League. He was the Big East Defensive Player of the Year in 2012 and still owns the record for the most blocked shots in an NBA D-League game with 14. He played in only six games for Boston and was traded to the Memphis Grizzlies. Memphis waived Melo, who was eventually signed by the Dallas Mavericks.


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The cause of death is still unknown, but a Business Insider report suggests that Melo had a heart attack. This tweet out of Brazil indicates that it could have been a heart attack. h/t heavy

Jorge de Sá @JorgeDesa: “Aps 26 anos, foi encontrado morto em sua casa em juiz de fora o ala pivo brasileiro Fab Melo. A causa pode ter sido um ataque cardíaco.”

According to Google Translate, the tweet reads: “After 26 years, the Brazilian pivo wing Fab Melo was found dead in his house in judge of outside. The cause may have been a heart attack.”

A heart attack has not been confirmed by Syracuse or anyone else that is reporting the death.


Melo played two seasons for Syracuse before leaving for the NBA. He averaged 4.9 points, 3.8 rebounds and .5 assists over his college career. He had a great sophomore season averaging 7.8 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.9 blocks. Melo had exceptional size at 7’0″, 255 pounds.

Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim spoke to ESPN about Melo.

“He was a really good kid, and it’s not fair that he will be defined by one thing: a 10-page paper. 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,” Boehim told ESPN.

According to the Portland Press Herald, Melo’s father died of a heart attack when he was a toddler. His mother, Regina, thought he should leave Juiz de Fora, Brazil and sent him to Florida to pursue his dream. His high school coach, Adam Ross, spoke with the Portland Press Herald about his upbringing.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Melo’s family and friends at this difficult time.

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