Former Ohio standout and Orlando Magic forward Brandon Hunter died Tuesday, the team announced. He was 42.
His cause of death was not immediately clear.
“We are terribly saddened to learn of the loss of our former teammate, Brandon Hunter,” the team said in a statement. “We send our deepest condolences to the entire Hunter family.”
We are terribly saddened to learn of the loss of our former teammate, Brandon Hunter. We send our deepest condolences to the entire Hunter family.
- The DeVos family, players, coaches and staff of the @OrlandoMagic pic.twitter.com/OLs0XMjrdA
— Orlando Magic PR (@Magic_PR) September 13, 2023
His mother-in-law, Carolyn Cliett, later told NBC News that Hunter collapsed during a hot yoga session at an Orlando-area studio.
"It was hot yoga, and he did it regularly," Cliett said, via NBC News. "He was in good shape as far as we know. We're just shocked."
Hunter, a Cincinnati native, played at Ohio for four seasons in college and averaged 21.5 points and an NCAA-best 12.6 rebounds as a senior in the 2002-03 campaign. Current Bobcats coach Jeff Boals posted a tribute to Hunter on social media on Tuesday.
— Jeff Boals (@JeffBoals) September 12, 2023
We are saddened to hear about the loss of Ohio basketball legend Brandon Hunter. Our thoughts are with Brandon’s family at this time. pic.twitter.com/tHpg3qsPzW
— Ohio Men’s Basketball (@OhioMBasketball) September 13, 2023
Hunter then played in the NBA for two seasons. The Boston Celtics selected him late in the second round of the 2003 NBA Draft. He spent his rookie year with the Celtics and averaged 3.5 points and 3.3 rebounds per contest in 36 games. He was picked up by the Charlotte Bobcats the next summer in the NBA expansion draft and then dealt to the Magic in exchange for Keith Bogans. Hunter averaged 3.1 points and 2.2 rebounds in 31 games with the Magic.
Hunter then spent nearly a decade playing internationally in Greece, Italy, France and more. He most recently played in France’s top league in 2013 with Orléans Loiret Basket and later started a sports management company.
Hunter is survived by his wife, Mary, and their three children.