Robert Archibald: Scottish basketball and former NBA player dies aged 39

Former NBA player and Great Britain international Robert Archibald has died aged 39.
Paisley-born Robert Archibald dies aged 39   picture: GettyImagesPaisley-born Robert Archibald dies aged 39   picture: GettyImages
Paisley-born Robert Archibald dies aged 39 picture: GettyImages

Archibald was the only Scottish player to appear in the NBA, having been drafted by the Memphis Grizzlies in 2002 before going on to play for the Phoenix Suns, Orlando Magic and Toronto Raptors.

British basketball has reacted in "shock" to the death of the prestigious sportsman.

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Basketball Scotland's chief executive Kevin Pringle told the governing body's website: "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."

Archibald's former college team, the University of Illinois, tweeted: "We've lost a member of our #Illini family much too soon. RIP, Arch."

Former Grizzlies team-mate Pau Gasol added: "Sad, very sad. @RobertArchibald, former teammate on the @memgrizz, has passed away. My thoughts are with his family and friends. RIP, Robert"

Archibald played 44 NBA games at centre or power forward and later enjoyed a successful career in Europe with the likes of Valencia and Joventut Badalona as well as representing Great Britain in the 2012 London Olympics.

Archibald began his career with Dunfermline Reign where he won two Scottish Cups, but will now channel his energies towards Great Britain’s bid to impress at the Olympics. Capped 25 times, he has already featured in two EuroBasket finals as the team has slowly acquired international credibility.