Stanley Robinson, a former star forward for the University of Connecticut’s basketball team, has died, the school announced on Wednesday.
He had turned 32 just last week.
Robinson, who led the Huskies to dozens of wins between 2006-2010, passed away suddenly on Monday evening at his home in Birmingham, Alabama, according to a news release. His cause of death was not immediately known. The Hartford Courant reported that his body was found by his mother.
“I am truly heartbroken,” Robinson’s coach at UConn, Jim Calhoun, said in a statement. “Stanley was such a beautiful person, caring and giving. He was a gentle soul, too gentle for this world.”
“He was not only loved by his teammates, but everybody who met Sticks liked him. He will always be a Husky,” Calhoun added.
The former coach described Robinson as “easily one of the best athletes I ever coached” and his stats prove it.
Robinson scored 1,231 points and grabbed 776 rebounds over his four-year UConn career. He helped his team win 90 games, including a 31-5 record in 2008-09, when the Huskies reached the Final Four.
Even when Calhoun suspended him for the first semester of his junior season, Calhoun didn’t leave or hold any grudges, but he worked in a scrapyard to earn his spot back on the team.
“Most kids would have said, ‘Screw you,’” Calhoun told ESPN in 2008. “Stanley could have left in a heartbeat, but he’s unique.”
He returned better than ever, eventually being drafted by the Orlando Magic in the second round of the 2010 NBA Draft. However, he was waived on the last day of training camp.
Robinson played with the Iowa Energy of the NBA Developmental League and continued his professional basketball career with the National Basketball League of Canada, as well as in Iceland, Chile and a number of other countries. But injuries eventually ended his career, according to the university.
“‘Sticks’ just couldn’t ever get the break he needed,” Calhoun said in the statement. “But no matter what happened, he always had a smile on his face.”
Robinson is survived by three daughters.