Former Syracuse center Fab Melo dies in Brazil

Melo, the 2012 Big East Defensive Player of the Year, averaged 7.8 points and 2.9 blocks per game as a sophomore at SU.

Former Syracuse center Fab Melo died today at the age of 26, according to multiple reports. He was found at his home in Brazil. 

Melo, a 7-foot center, played two seasons for the Orange from 2010-12. As a sophomore, he appeared in 30 games for SU and averaged 7.8 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.9 blocks per game. He was the Big East Defensive Player of the Year that season. 

Syracuse finished the 2011-12 regular season with a 31-2 overall record, 17-1 in the Big East and earned the number one seed in the NCAA’s East Regional. But, just prior to the Orange’s first round match-up against 16th seeded UNC Asheville, it was announced that Melo was suspended for the Tournament due to an academic violation. Syracuse advanced to the Elite Eight, but was eliminated by Ohio State. 

Melo was drafted in the first round—22nd overall—in 2012 by the Boston Celtics. He appeared in six games for Boston, playing 36 minutes and scoring seven total points. He was traded to the Memphis Grizzles in 2013, but did not appear in a game. He spent parts of the last two seasons playing in Puerto Rico and Brazil.

Melo’s former teammates and coaches took to Twitter to express their condolences.

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