Fab Melo, dead at 26

posted by Ian Wheatley - 

Syracuse, N.Y. – Fab Melo, a first round NBA draft pick out of Syracuse University, has died.

According to reports out of his native Brazil, Fabricio Paulino de Melo passed away at just 26 years old. Melo was found dead by his mother Saturday morning.

The five-star high school recruit was a part of the 2011-2012 Orange squad that went 34-3 and had a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

"He was a really good kid, and it's not fair that he will be defined by one thing, a 10-page paper," Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim told ESPN shortly after hearing Melo had died. "He worked his tail off to become a really good player, and was a nice kid."

Melo's academic eligibility was a part of the NCAA investigation that resulted in harsh sanctions against the program.

The Boston Celtics took Melo as the twenty-second overall draft pick in 2012. The Celtics draft of Melo is considered one of the biggest busts of the lottery era.

Melo was playing professional basketball in his native Brazil.

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