Former NBA center Haley dies at 51

El Segundo, CA ( - Jack Haley, a nine-year NBA veteran and a member of the Chicago Bulls' 1995-96 world championship team, died Monday at the age of 51.

The family of Haley, who had been working as a television analyst on Los Angeles Lakers pregame shows, issued a statement released through the organization confirming his passing, which an autopsy revealed was due to heart disease.

"It is with great sadness that the Haley family announces the passing of our beloved father, son, and brother," said the statement. "Our hearts are broken by this sudden, unexpected loss. Jack was honored and grateful for the opportunity to play in the NBA for nine years, alongside world-class athletes with the Los Angeles Lakers, Chicago Bulls, San Antonio Spurs, and New Jersey Nets. He cherished every moment and gave 100 percent whether on or off the court. And more than anything, Jack dearly loved his family.

"We are humbled and grateful for the outpouring of love, support, and prayers form around the country."

Haley played in 341 regular-season games and 14 playoff contests in the NBA, primarily as a bench player, from 1988-98. The 6-foot-10 center averaged 3.5 points and 2.7 rebounds with the Bulls, New Jersey Nets, Lakers and San Antonio Spurs.

"Jack Haley-member of Bulls 95-96 team of ages. RIP," tweeted New York Knicks president Phil Jackson, Haley's head coach in Chicago.

The Southern California native also played professionally in Spain and Greece and had a stint in the Continental Basketball Association from 1996-97.

Following his playing career, Haley served as an assistant coach with the Nets prior to his television stint with the Lakers.