Former NBA star dies at 42 after ‘collapsing in a yoga class’

Brandon Hunter dies aged 42 (Getty Images)
Brandon Hunter dies aged 42 (Getty Images)

An ex-NBA player died aged 42 on Tuesday after collapsing at the end of a yoga class, reports say.

The death of Brandon Hunter was confirmed by many who knew him over the course of his successful professional basketball career, which began when he was drafted in 2003 by the Boston Celtics.

The power forward played for Sioux Falls Skyforce before having an illustrious career playing for different European teams.

He retired from basketball in 2013 after playing for a final time with Club Atletico Anguada, a team in Uruguay.

Mr O’Shea, Mr Hunter’s former basketball coach at his alma mater Ohio University wrote on Facebook, “He was the best player I ever had the good Fortune of coaching - he excelled at Ohio University, and then went on to play in the NBA for Boston and Orlando, then successfully in Europe, before transitioning to a successful career as a sports agent. We stayed in touch over the years, and I was incredibly proud of the husband, father, and citizen he became.. please keep his family in your prayers.”

Mr O’Shea said Hunter “apparently” had “collapsed at the end of a yoga class”, though no details around the circumstances of his death have been confirmed.

Another former Ohio coach took to X (formerly known as Twitter) on Tuesday and wrote “Sad day for Bobcat Nation. Brandon Hunter, gone way too soon. One of the best to ever put on the green and white.”

Former NBA player T.J. Ford, who had a brief stint playing with Mr Hunter in 2005 with the Milwaukee Bucks, said on X, “We just spoke last week. Losing a lot of my friends lately.”

Mr Hunter’s career started in high school before enrolling at Ohio University, where he played for the Bobcats. His talent and dedication to basketball were well recognised, even leading him to gain All-Mid-American Conference Freshman Team honours in 2000.

Brandon Hunter playing for the Boston Celtics (Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE Via Getty)
Brandon Hunter playing for the Boston Celtics (Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE Via Getty)

He played one season with the Boston Celtics, playing 36 games and averaged 3.5 points and 3.3 rebounds, said Fox News.

He moved to Orlando Magic in 2004, where he averaged 3.1 points and 2.2 rebounds in 31 games during the 2004-2005 season.

Orlando Magic released a statement saying they were “terribly saddened to learn of the loss of our former teammate, Brandon Hunter. We send our deepest condolences to the entire Hunter family.”

After retirement from his basketball career, he returned to his hometown of Cincinnati to pursue a real estate career and local sports management, he told WCPO in 2017.

Mr Hunter is survived by his wife and two children, WCPO says.