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Fab Melo passes away

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The former Syracuse center was 26 years old.

Big East Basketball Tournament - Syracuse v UCONN
Fab Melo showing the smile that many remember

Former Syracuse Orange basketball star Fab Melo passed away on Saturday in Brazil.

The 26 year old played two seasons for the Orange and was a major piece in the 2011-12 team which won a school record 34 games and the Big East Championship. Melo was named the Big East Defensive Player of the Year that season. During a game against Seton Hall, Melo blocked a school-record 10 shots. He left Syracuse after being ruled ineligible and was a 1st-round pick of the Boston Celtics in 2012.

It’s unfortunate that many will remember Fab for being a central figure in the NCAA investigation of the Orange. This is what Jim Boeheim told ESPN’s Jeff Goodman after hearing the news

It is unfortunate if Fab is remembered for that instead of what the did to go from a freshman non-contributor to a dominating defensive center in his sophomore season. Fab was a big guy with an even bigger smile. He certainly had some ups and downs during his time at Syracuse, but his passing came too soon. As the news came out, many of Fab’s teammates shared their thoughts

Our condolences to Fab’s family and friends. Rest in peace #51.