Shane Richmond, the son of NBA Hall of Famer and former Golden State Warriors guard Mitch Richmond, died suddenly this week. He was 20.
Mitch, 54, announced the devastating news in a statement released on Tuesday. The former NBA star said his youngest son died unexpectedly on Monday night, but did not disclose any other details about the tragedy.
“We are heartbroken and devastated with this tragic news, and will use the strength of our family and the thoughts and prayers of our friends to get through this incredibly difficult time,” Richmond said on behalf of his wife Julie, their two other sons Phillip and Jerin and his daughter from a previous relationship, Tearra Gates.
“Shane was a ray of light for his two brothers, sister, mom and dad and, at only 20 years of age, had a wealth of friends and admirers who will desperately miss his warm affection and smile,” Mitch continued.
“As we go through the grieving process and the loss of our son, we ask that you respect our privacy,” he added.
Mitch is best known for his successful 14-season basketball career, which included playing guard for the Golden State Warriors, Sacramento Kings, Washington Wizards and Los Angeles Lakers, and his current coaching career at St. John’s University.
Following two years at Kansas State University, Mitch was drafted in the 5th round of the 1988 NBA draft by the Warriors and played for the California team until 1991. During his first season, he earned the NBA Rookie of the Year Award.
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He went on to play for the Kings for seven years until 1998, where he was then traded to the Wizards and played for them until 2001. That same year, Mitch signed as a free agent with the Lakers.
The six-time NBA All-Star hung up his jersey for good in 2002 and was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2014. He was also inducted into the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame in San Francisco in 2016 and has his #2 jersey retired by the Kings.
In a statement to The Sacramento Bee, a spokesperson for the Kings said they were “extremely heartbroken to learn of Shane Richmond’s unexpected passing.”
“Our hearts, prayers, and support are with Mitch and his entire family during this incredibly difficult time,” the organization continued. “Shane will be remembered as a wonderful son, brother, and friend. The Kings organization stands in sorrow and we offer our deepest sympathy to the Richmond family.”
Shane’s death comes six years after he was reported missing as a teen from his Calabasas, California home, according to CBS Los Angeles.
At the time of his disappearance in 2013, his mother believed that Shane had run away from home. When he later returned safely, his family clarified that Shane was with his friends and cousins and did not have any cell phone service.