Former Arizona Wildcats basketball star, Phoenix Suns coach Sean Rooks passes away at age 46

Posted at 5:36 PM, Jun 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-07 21:49:16-04

Former Arizona Wildcats center and 12-year NBA pro Sean Rooks has passed away at age 46.

Rooks was a First-Team All-Pac-10 player in 1992. He went on to play for seven NBA teams from 1992-2004 and served as a player development coach for the Phoenix Suns from 2012-13. He also spent time as an assistant coach with the Philadelphia 76ers.

News of Rooks' death came just hours after he interviewed for an assistant coaching job with the New York Knicks, NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski reported. Rooks met with former Suns coach Jeff Hornacek, who was hired as the Knicks' head coach last week.

"Rooks had gone to dinner in Philadelphia after returning from his trip to New York," Wojnarowski wrote, adding Rooks was preparing to leave for an NBA-sponsored trip to China on Wednesday.

TMZ reported Rooks may have suffered a heart attack at dinner.

"This is just a horrible shock," Lute Olson, Rooks' coach at Arizona, 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."

Rooks' son Kameron played college basketball for Cal from 2013-14.

Rooks' death comes less than seven months after former UA forward Michael Wright was murdered at age 35.