Sixers head coach Brett Brown expressed his sadness over the passing of Sean Rooks through a team statement Wednesday morning. Brown is currently overseas and was in Turkey when Rooks passed away Tuesday evening.
"I learned of this tragic news in the early morning hours last night,” Brown said in the statement. “Sean Rooks was a wonderful person with a kind soul who deserved to live longer than he did. Sean was with me for two years and helped our young players and coaching staff by sharing his experiences in such an endearing way.”
Rooks joined the Sixers staff in 2014 as a player development coach. Brown had been helping him prep for other coaching openings this offseason. Rooks had been offered a head D-League coaching job by the Charlotte Hornets and had interviewed with the Knicks on Tuesday, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of the Vertical.
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"It was exciting for me to sit with him recently and see the enthusiasm he had while preparing to interview for the head coach position with a NBA D-League team,” Brown said. “We would role play, ask each other different questions, and when he left, I felt like he had a real chance to make a significant advancement in his own coaching career.
"When he was offered the position just a few days later, we spoke of the challenges, growth and responsibility that would help him personally move his career forward as a head coach. He was genuinely excited by this offer, as well as other job opportunities that were coming his way.”
Rooks played 12 seasons in the NBA and worked as an assistant coach for multiple D-League teams. He was a player development assistant for the Suns before joining Brown and the Sixers.
"He meant so much to so many people," Brown said. "We are all deeply saddened by his loss and extend our condolences to his family during this time. He will be missed."