COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Former NBA player Brandon Hunter died on Tuesday. He was 42.
Former Ohio University basketball coach Tim O’Shea, who paid tribute to Hunter Tuesday, said that the Cincinnati native “apparently…collapsed at the end of a yoga class” in Orlando. Hunter’s cause of death was not immediately available.
Hunter starred in the Ohio University Bobcats frontcourt from 1999-2003 and led the NCAA with 12.6 rebounds per game during the 2002-03 season. He earned All-MAC first-team honors in 2001, 2002, and 2003, averaging 21.3 points per game in his final season. Hunter ranks fifth all-time at Ohio with 2,012 points and first in rebounds with 1,103.
He was selected 56th overall in the 2003 NBA draft by the Boston Celtics and averaged 3.5 points and 3.3 rebounds in his first season. The Celtics did not protect Hunter in the 2004 expansion draft, which saw the Charlotte Hornets select him, but he was traded mid-season to Orlando, where he averaged 3.1 points and 2.2 rebounds over 31 games.
Hunter had brief stints with Milwaukee, Cleveland, and New Jersey summer league teams before traveling overseas to play in Greece, Italy, Puerto Rico, and France. He returned to Cincinnati in 2013 to pursue careers as a real estate broker, a sports agent and, most recently, running the company he founded in 2021, Hunter Athlete Management.
Bobcats coach Jeff Boals said in a statement, “We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Brandon Hunter. Brandon was a phenomenal player at Ohio who went on to have a great pro career. He was up on campus last year, with his son, for his well-deserved induction into the Ohio University Athletics Hall of Fame. Brandon was a great ambassador for Ohio, a great teammate, a great competitor, and a great family man. Brandon had an infectious personality that touched many people along his journey and will be truly missed. We are thinking about and praying for his wife Mary and three children during this time.”
Hunter, a 1999 graduate of Winthrow University High School in Cincinnati, where he was also a star player, was inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame in 2017. Last year, he was enshrined into the Ohio University’s Kermit Blosser Ohio Athletics Hall of Fame.