In this Oct. 14, 1996, file photo, Los Angeles Lakers Shaquille O’Neal holds up fellow center Sean Rooks as they pose for a picture at Lakers Media Day at the Forum in Inglewood, Calif. Former NBA center and Philadelphia 76ers assistant coach Sean Rooks died Tuesday, June 7, 2016, after interviewing earlier in the day for a job with the New York Knicks. He was 46. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello, File)
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Former NBA center and Philadelphia 76ers assistant coach Sean Rooks died Tuesday after interviewing earlier in the day for a job with the New York Knicks. He was 46.
Rooks had visited with Knicks President Phil Jackson and general manager Steve Mills for an assistant coaching position on Jeff Hornacek’s staff. He had spent the past two years on Brett Brown’s staff in Philadelphia.
The cause of death was not known.
In this Saturday, April 7, 2001 file photo, Los Angeles Clippers’ Sean Rooks fends off San Antonio Spurs defenders Antonio Daniels and Samaki Walker, right, during the first half of a basketball game in Los Angeles. Former 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, June 7, 2016. (AP Photo/Jill Connelly, File)
“It is with a profound deal of sadness that we mourn the sudden loss of a beloved son, father and friend, Sean Rooks. Words simply cannot express the heartbreak and shock our entire organization is feeling over this loss,” 76ers co-managing owners Josh Harris and David Blitzer said on behalf of the team.
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.
His interview with the Knicks was first reported by Yahoo Sports.
Lute Olson, who coached Rooks in college, called it a “terrible loss for Arizona basketball.”
“This is just a horrible shock,” Olson said. “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.”
Rooks’ son, Kameron, is a 7-footer playing for California. He also is survived by another child, Khayla, and his mother, Deborah Brown.