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Ex-Syracuse big man Fab Melo dies in Brazil

Big East Basketball Tournament - Syracuse v UCONN

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 08: Fab Melo #51 of the Syracuse Orange looks on against the Connecticut Huskies during their quarterfinal game of the 2012 Big East Men’s Basketball Tournament at Madison Square Garden on March 8, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

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Former Syracuse center Fab Melo died on Saturday in his home in Brazil.

He was 26 years old.

“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. “He worked his tail off to become a really good player, and was a nice kid.”

“We don’t know the cause yet. It’s so hard right now, so hard to believe. It’s a sad, sad day.”

The cause of death is not yet known, although it is believed that Melo died in his mother’s house, according to ESPN.

Melo played two seasons for the Orange before becoming the 22nd pick in the 2012 draft by the Boston Celtics. The paper that Boeheim is referring to was part of the investigation into academic impropriety within the Syracuse program that resulted in the self-imposed NCAA tournament ban during the 2014-15 season.