Robert Archibald, the only Scot to ever play in the NBA, has died.

He was aged just 39.

His father Bobby, who preceded him as a Great Britain international, confirmed his son had been found dead at home in Illinois on Thursday.

“We were so proud of him,” he told MVP. “He pushed personal envelopes for his sport by making it to the NBA with his dedication to his craft.”

Archibald began his career with Dunfermline Reign but ventured all the way to the NBA following a heralded stint at the University of Illinois, playing for a number of teams including the Toronto Raptors, Phoenix Suns and Memphis Grizzlies, who drafted him in 2002.

He went onto have an impressive career in Europe with clubs including Joventut Badalona and Malaga, and retired after featuring for Great Britain at the London 2012 Olympics, setting up an insurance brokerage in suburban Chicago.

He leaves a young son, Robert Jr.

Tributes have flooded in from around the world of basketball with former Grizzles team-mate Pau Gasol saying “it was very tough and very sad.”

“He was truly one of the nicest, funniest guys I ever met,” added Andy Betts, who played alongside him for club and country. “I spent some of my favourite years of basketball spending time with him and his family on and off the court.”

Kevin Pringle, Chief Executive of basketballscotland said: “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. Robert loved the sport and demonstrated what can be achieved through hard work and the right attitude.

“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.”

British Basketball Federation chairman Maurice Watkins said: “We are deeply saddened to learn of Robert’s passing.

“He was a fantastic ambassador for Scottish and British basketball and will be fondly remembered for his great contribution to the game in our country, his talent and his achievements.”

Pic: MAP


Share and Enjoy:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • MySpace
  • Print

You must be logged in to post a comment Login