Ex-Arizona center Rooks dies suddenly

PHILADELPHIA -- Former Arizona and NBA center and Philadelphia 76ers assistant coach Sean Rooks has died. He was 46.

The team released a statement from Deborah Brown, the mother of Rooks, on Tuesday night: "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."

"This is just a horrible shock," former Arizona coach Lute Olson said in a statement. "Sean was such a wonderful young man with a great disposition. During his time at Arizona, he was always one of the most pleasant individuals to be around. His positivity was something I'll always remember. This is a tough day and a terrible loss for Arizona basketball. We send our condolences to Sean's family and friends."

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Former teammates took to Twitter to share their sadness of the news.

Man I'm hurting rt now. My friend Sean Rooks passed away. I can't believe it. He watched out for me. Great person and father. Gone too soon

— Miles Simon (@milessimon) June 8, 2016

I can't believe Sean gone! Tons of fun and really took care of me my freshman yr! I'm forever grateful for what u taught me! #RIP 🐻⬇️

— Damon Stoudamire (@Iambiggie503) June 8, 2016

Totally heartbroken about Sean Rooks' passing. Wookie had a heart of gold! Prayers to his beautiful mom, kids and family.

— matt muehlebach (@mattmuehlebach) June 8, 2016

I'm heartbroken to hear about my former teammate and friend passing away..Always had a smile and a good energy.

— Tom Tolbert (@byronjr23) June 8, 2016

Rooks played 12 seasons after being selected in the second round of the NBA draft by Dallas in 1992. He averaged 6.2 points in 749 games with seven teams. Rooks spent the past two years working as an assistant on Brett Brown's staff in Philadelphia.