Standford University is in mourning after hearing of the tragic death of Pete Sauer, a captain on the school’s 1998 Final Four basketball team, who died Sunday night after collapsing and hitting his head during a pickup game. He was 35.
According to a report by the San Francisco Chronicle, Sauer, who former Stanford teammates described as “the heart and soul” of the Cardinal teams of the late 90s, was playing at Gardella Park when he collapsed, hit his head and went unconscious.
He was taken by ambulance to White Plains Hospital, where he was pronounced dead about 45 minutes later.
On Monday, grieving former teammates, coaches and opponents took to the web to express their grief over Sauer’s passing.
“Coaching is like parenting, no real favorites,” tweeted Portland coach Eric Reveno, a former Stanford assistant. “Just qualities you love in each. Peter Sauer had a bunch to love. RIP”
Former Stanford head coach Mike Montgomery, who recruited Sauer in the 90s, said:
“Peter Sauer was one of the most popular players I have ever coached. He was the epitome of the definition of a student-athlete. He was smart; he was tough; he was a winner. He played on a Final Four team and was an integral part of the success of that group. Peter was somebody that his teammates really looked up to and admired. It is tragic that this can happen to a young man in the prime of his life. We are all very saddened with the news. This is very tough news to get. My heart goes out to his family during this difficult time.”
During his four year career at Stanford University, the 6-foot-7 Sauer averaged 7.9 points and 4.2 rebounds and was named team captain his junior and senior years, according to university records.
CBS reports that following Stanford, Peter signed with the Atlanta Hawks of the National Basketball Association and was cut in the summer of 1999.
He then moved to Greece to play for the B.C. Iraklis Thessaloniki professional team, shunning minor leagues in the U.S.
In recent years, Sauer had been working in New York City in Equity Sales at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. He had also been planning a get-together for 25 former Stanford players for next season, according to Yahoo.
Sauer is survived by his wife, Amanda, and three daughters.