Clifford Robinson has died at the age of 53. His cause of death has not yet been disclosed, but reports have indicated that the NBA star and Survivor contestant suffered a number of serious health ailments in recent years.
On Saturday, family members confirmed that the former UConn and Portland Trail Blazers star died, leading to an outpouring of condolences from across the sports world as well as inquiry about what led to his passing.
Family Confirmed Robinson’s Death On Saturday
Family of the NBA star confirmed his death to WGRZ, a television station in his native Buffalo.
— Claudine Ewing (@ClaudineWgrz) August 29, 2020
Further details were not immediately clear, including exactly how and when he died. It was also not announced whether he died of natural causes.
In the wake of his passing, many former players passed along condolences, as well as UConn, where the talented big man was named to the All-Century Basketball team.
“The UConn Basketball family mourns the loss of a legendary player and person, Clifford Robinson,” the university said in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Cliff’s family at this difficult time.”
None of those offering condolences gave any further details.
Robinson Suffered A Stroke, Had Tumor Removed In Recent Years
While Robinson’s cause of death had not yet been reported, many outlets took note of the health ailments he endured over the course of the last three years. As 247 Sports reported, the basketball great suffered a stroke in March 2017 that left him paralyzed on the left side of his body. Robinson was able to recover movement in much of his arm and leg, the report noted.
As NBA.com noted at the time, Robinson had to undergo emergency surgery at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center in Portland, where he remained hospitalized afterward.
The Trail Blazers great released a statement at the time thanking his supporters and noting that he would have a long recovery ahead, but was optimistic about his chances to make a recovery.
“I want Trail Blazers fans and friends to know I’m doing well and in the process of getting better,” the statement read. “My family and I appreciate the prayers and well-wishes for my recovery. I had an unfortunate incident with a minor brain hemorrhage which means I’ll be in rehabilitation for a while. But I’m excited about trying to get past this speed bump. I’m improving every day.”
The 247 Sports report added that Robinson had a tumor removed from his jaw in 2018.
After his retirement from the NBA, Robinson became an advocate for medical cannabis and became an entrepreneur in that realm, creating a brand known as “Uncle Cliffy.”
“If you play 18 years in the NBA and perform over an 82-game schedule, you’re going to deal with anxiety issues and your ability to relax,” he told the Las Vegas Sun, via 247 Sports. “Cannabis has always helped me with that.”
It was not clear if any of the recent health ailments, or his history with anxiety, played any role in his death this weekend.