Former NBA player Brandon Hunter dies after yoga class: report

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Former NBA player Brandon Hunter died Tuesday. He was 42 years old.

Former Ohio University basketball coach Tim O’Shea, who paid tribute to Hunter Tuesday, said the Cincinnati native “apparently … collapsed at the end of a yoga class” in Orlando. Hunter’s cause of death was not immediately available.

Hunter played in the frontcourt for the Ohio University Bobcats from 1999 to 2003 and led the NCAA with 12.6 rebounds per game during the 2002-03 season. He earned first-team All-MAC honors in 2001, 2002 and 2003, averaging 21.3 points per game in his final season. Hunter ranks fifth all-time in Ohio with 2,012 points and first in rebounds with 1,103.

He was selected 56th overall in the 2003 NBA Draft by the Boston Celtics and averaged 3.5 points and 3.3 rebounds in his first season. The Celtics did not protect Hunter in the 2004 expansion draft, which saw the Charlotte Hornets select him, but he was traded mid-season to Orlando, where he averaged 3.1 points and 2.2 rebounds in 31 games.

Hunter had brief stints with summer league teams in Milwaukee, Cleveland and New Jersey before traveling overseas to play in Greece, Italy, Puerto Rico and France. He returned to Cincinnati in 2013 to pursue a career as a real estate broker, sports agent and, most recently, running the company he founded in 2021, Hunter Athlete Management.

Bobcats coach Jeff Boals said in a statement: “We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Brandon Hunter. Brandon was a phenomenal player in Ohio who had a great professional career. He was on campus last year, with his son, for his well-deserved induction into the Ohio University Athletics Hall of Fame. Brandon was a great ambassador for Ohio, a great teammate, a great competitor and a great family man. Brandon had an infectious personality that touched many people along his journey and will be truly missed. We are thinking and praying for his wife Mary and three children during this time.

Coach Boals also posted on X Tuesday about Hunter’s death, as did former guard TJ Ford.

Hunter, a 1999 graduate of Winthrow University High School in Cincinnati, where he was also a star player, was inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame in 2017. Last year, he was enshrined in the Kermit Blosser Ohio Ohio University Athletics Hall of Fame.


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