Nick Gilbert, the son of Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, died Saturday of complications related to neurofibromatosis 1, the team said in a statement. He was 26 years old.
«Nick was a light and inspiration to many throughout his 26-year life,» the Cavs said in a statement. instagram post. “Whether assuming his signature role as the Cavs’ good luck charm during various NBA Draft Lotteries or using his voice to advocate in the fight against the NF, Nick’s relentless spirit has been a driving force behind our organization».
Neurofibromatosis is a genetic disorder that causes tumors to form in nerve tissue anywhere in the body, according to the mayo clinic.
Gilbert was hospitalized for over a month in 2022 after facing multiple surgeries during his fight against neurofibromatosis. NBC affiliate WKYC of Cleveland reported.
Taking to social media, Cavs guard Donovan Mitchell mourned the loss of Gilbert, who first represented the team in the 2011 NBA Draft Lottery and went on to represent the team five more times.
«I love you Nick», Mitchell wrote on Twitteradding a heart, a dove and praying emojis.
Joe Haden, an NFL player who played for the Cleveland Browns for seven seasons, also remembered Gilbert in tweets, sharing a video and several photos.
«Rest king! You brought so much joy to everyone you met! Sending blessings to the Gilbert family,” he wrote.
Gilbert was known for wearing his trademark bow ties, and the team honored Gilbert and others with neurofibromatosis during the 2022-23 season. Cavs players wore warm-up jackets with bowtie emblems, while broadcasters, coaches and members of the front office sported bowtie lapel pins.
“It was an honor to support Nick last season and celebrate the strength and resilience of all those affected by NF,” the team said.
In 2017, the Gilbert family founded NF Forwarda nonprofit organization that raises awareness about neurofibromatosis and funds cutting-edge research on the disorder.
A funeral for Gilbert will be held in West Bloomfield Township, Michigan, on Tuesday, according to his obituary.