Retired NBA star Scottie Pippen announced on Monday that his first-born son, Antron Pippen, has passed away at age 33. The 55-year-old took to both Instagram and Twitter to break the news of his son’s passing, sharing that he is “heartbroken.”
“I’m heartbroken to share that yesterday, I said goodbye to my firstborn son Antron,” the former Chicago Bulls player wrote on Instagram in a tribute to his son. “The two of us shared a love for basketball and we had countless conversations about the game,” he continued.
The NBA legend revealed that Antron suffered from chronic asthma and likely would have made it to the NBA if it weren’t for his breathing troubles.
“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,” he said.
A cause of death has not yet been confirmed, but Pippen is asking for people to pray for his mother, family and friends.
“Please keep his mom, Karen, and all of his family and friends in your thoughts and prayers. A kind heart and beautiful soul gone way too soon. I love you, son, rest easy until we meet again,” he wrote.
Antron is the son of Pippen and his ex-wife Karen McCollum, who the retired athlete was married to from 1988-1990. Pippen is also the father to seven other children, including his daughter Tyler who died nine days after her birth and was the twin to his other daughter Taylor.
According to People, Antron played basketball for both Texas A&M International and South Georgia Technical College (SGTC), where his famous last name garnered attention. He also had a successful high school basketball career.
“I’m used to the expectations,” Antron told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution as a high school player in 2006, USA Today reports. “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.”
Pippen’s alma mater offered their condolences in a tweet, saying they are “saddened” by the news of Antron’s death.
“The Jets family was saddened to learn of the death of one of our former players, Antron Pippen,” SGTC wrote on Twitter. “His family and friends are in our thoughts and prayers. Antron was a Jet during the 2006-2007 season. #Jetfamily #SGTCJets”
The Jets family was saddened to learn of the death of one of our former players, Antron Pippen. His family and friends are in our thoughts and prayers. Antron was a Jet during the 2006-2007 season. #Jetfamily
— SGTC Jets (@SGTCJets) April 19, 2021
One of Pippen’s ex-wives, Larsa Pippen, wrote a heartfelt message on Instagram addressing Antron’s death.
“Some truths in life are hard to accept. Your memories will never be forgotten! They will always remain with us forever. You are forever in our hearts, we love u and will miss u always Rip Antron,” she wrote.