Former NBA center, Sixers assistant coach Sean Rooks dies at age 46

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Sixers player development coach Sean Rooks died Tuesday at the age of 46. 

Rooks had been a member of the Sixers' staff since November of 2014. No cause of death has been announced.

The Sixers issued a statement on behalf of Rooks’ mother, Deborah Brown, Tuesday evening.

"It is with deep sadness and overwhelming grief that we mourn the sudden loss of my son, Sean. Our family asks that our privacy be respected as we grieve during this incredibly difficult time," Brown said in the statement.

The team also issued a statement from co-managing owners Josh Harris and David Blitzer.

"It is with a profound deal of sadness that we mourn the sudden loss of a beloved son, father and friend, Sean Rooks. Words simply cannot express the heartbreak and shock our entire organization is feeling over this loss.

"Sean will long be remembered not for his accomplishments on the court — of which there were many — but for his vibrant personality, positive outlook and the genuine care he had for everyone in his life.

"While he is gone far too soon, we will all hold close the time we were able to spend with Sean here in Philadelphia. Our thoughts and prayers are with his mother, Deborah, and his children, Kameron and Khayla, and all of those who were close to him during this extremely difficult time."

Rooks was born Sept. 9, 1969, in New York. He attended Fontana High School in Fontana, California, and went on to play college basketball at the University of Arizona. 

The Mavericks selected Rooks with the 30th pick in the 1992 draft. His NBA career went on to span 12 seasons, as he also played for the Timberwolves, Hawks, Lakers, Clippers, (New Orleans) Hornets and Magic. 

Rooks, a center, accumulated a career average of 6.2 points and 3.8 rebounds. 

After retiring, Rooks coached in the NBA Development League. He worked as an assistant coach for the Sioux Falls Skyforce, New Mexico Thunderbirds and Bakersfield Jam before joining the Sixers.

"I am so sad — sad for his family, sad for his son, sad for his mom," Sixers chief executive officer Scott O'Neil said. "All of my thoughts and prayers are with Sean and his family."

Many of the Sixers' players expressed their sadness on social media.

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