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NBA NEWS: Former Raptors Star Dies Aged 39 — See Huge Details…

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Former NBA and Great Britain international basketball player Robert Archibald, has died at the age of 39.

His father Bobby, who also represented Great Britain, confirmed his son had been found dead at his home in Illinois on Thursday.

“We were so proud of him,” he said. “He pushed personal envelopes for his sport by making it to the NBA with his dedication to his craft.”

Archibald was drafted by the Memphis Grizzlies in 2002 before going on to play for the Phoenix Suns, Orlando Magic and Toronto Raptors. To date, he is the only Scot to play in the NBA.

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Pau Gasol, a former team-mate of Archibald in Memphis, paid tribute on social media: “Sad, very sad. Robert Archibald, former teammate on the [Grizzlies], has passed away. My thoughts are with his family and friends. RIP, Robert.”

Playing as a centre and power forward, Archibald also represented Great Britain in the 2012 Olympics in London. He featured in 44 NBA games and later enjoyed a successful career in Europe with Spanish sides Valencia and Joventut Badalona.

Great Britain centre Andrew Betts, who played with Archibald on the GB team and with Joventut, said: “I’m heartbroken to hear the news of the passing of my friend and team-mate Rob.

“He was truly one of the nicest, funniest guys I ever met. I spent some of my favourite years of basketball with him and his family on and off the court. RIP big fella.”

Basketball Scotland’s chief executive, Kevin Pringle, said: “The news of Robert’s death is a complete shock to us all. He was a wonderful man and a great friend, as well as being a trailblazer and an inspiration to others.”

“Throughout his extraordinary career he always played with pride and determination, and was always a credit to his country, whether representing Scotland or GB at home or abroad.”

“The basketball community has lost a great role model and a true friend, and the thoughts of the whole community are with his family at this difficult time. We will miss him.”

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