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Former 76ers assistant Sean Rooks dies at 46

Former 76ers assistant coach Sean Rooks died Tuesday in Philadelphia. He was 46.

The cause of Rooks' death could not be confirmed.

"It is with deep sadness and overwhelming grief that we mourn the sudden loss of my son, Sean," said Deborah Brown, Rooks' mother, in a statement. "Our family asks that our privacy be respected as we grieve during this incredibly difficult time."

A 6-foot-10 center out of Arizona, Rooks played 12 seasons in the NBA. He averaged 6.2 points and 3.8 rebounds during stops with the Dallas Mavericks, Minnesota Timberwolves, Atlanta Hawks, Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, New Orleans Hornets, and Orlando Magic.

Rooks was hired as the Sixers' player development assistant/assistant coach before the start of the 2014-15 season. He was in charge of the post players. The team was not going to renew his contract for this season.

"It is with a profound deal of sadness that we mourn the sudden loss of a beloved son, father and friend, Sean Rooks," the team's co-managing owners, Josh Harris and David Blitzer, said in a statement. "Words simply cannot express the heartbreak and shock our entire organization is feeling over this loss."

Before his Sixers job, Rooks had coaching stints with the Phoenix Suns and in the NBA Development League with the Sioux Falls Skyforce, New Mexico Thunderbirds, and Bakersfield Jam.

Rooks had interviewed with the Knicks on Tuesday. They were expected to offer him a job. He also was offered the head coaching job of the Charlotte Hornets' D-League affiliate.