(NEXSTAR) – Basketball great Scottie Pippen’s firstborn son, Antron, has died at the age of 33.
The six-time NBA champion said that Antron died on Sunday, according to a statement he shared on Twitter, but the legendary Bulls forward didn’t specify the cause of death.
“The two of us shared a love for basketball and we had countless conversations about the game,” Pippen wrote. “Antron suffered from chronic asthma and if he hadn’t had it, I truly believe he would’ve made it to the NBA. He never let that get him down, though – Antron stayed positive and worked hard, and I am so proud of the man that he became.”
“Please keep his mom, Karen, and all of his family and friends in your thoughts and prayers,” Pippen wrote. “A kind heart and beautiful soul gone way too soon. I love you, son, rest easy until we meet again.
Antron Pippen was an accomplished high school player in Georgia, then played college basketball at South Georgia Tech and Texas A&M International.
“The Jets family was saddened to learn of the death of one of our former players, Antron Pippen,” read a Twitter post from the South Georgia Tech athletic department.
Antron Pippen’s high school career was well-chronicled and he at one time was listed among the top 100 prospects at his age level. He acknowledged that sharing the last name of a six-time NBA champion generated extra attention.
“I’m used to the expectations,” Antron Pippen told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution as a high school player in 2006. “When I was younger, it bothered me. I was trying to prove to people that I could play. I’m very proud of my father. But I can only be myself.”
Antron Pippen played college basketball at Texas A&M International University before a stint with the Upstate Heat of the World Basketball Association, according to Marie Claire. He ultimately settled down in the Atlanta area where he worked as a machine technician at a laboratory.
Antron Pippen was the oldest of Scottie Pippen’s seven children. He was the only child from Pippen’s first marriage, to Karen McCollum.