CLEVELAND – The death Tuesday night of former NBA player Sean Rooks at age 46 sent waves of grief through the league on Wednesday, and Warriors coach Steve Kerr is among those deeply touched.
“Sean and I played together at Arizona,” Kerr said during the team’s morning shootaround Wednesday morning. “I was devastated by the news last night.”
Kerr was emotional in his brief response to the question about Rooks, whose freshman year at the University of Arizona coincided with Kerr’s senior year. Rooks was a 6-foot-10 center, Kerr a 6-2 guard.
Nearly 30 years later, Rooks has a son, Kameron, a 7-foot center at Cal, and Kerr has a son, Nick, who after three years at University of San Diego recently spent the final season of his eligibility at Cal.
“My son and Sean’s son were teammates this year at Cal, and all of us who knew Sean are just crushed,” Kerr said. “It’s a horrible loss. We’re thinking most about Sean’s two kids, Kameron and Khayla, and hoping they’re doing OK. But it’s a huge loss.”
Rooks, who played with seven teams over 12 seasons in the NBA, reportedly collapsed during dinner Monday, hours after interviewing with the Knicks about a position as an assistant coach. He was a member of the 76ers staff and had been offered the position of head coach of Philadelphia’s Development League team.