Troy “Escalade” Jackson, younger brother of NBA star Mark Jackson passed away in his sleep in the early hours of yesterday morning. The cause of the 35 year old’s death is currently unknown, awaiting the results of an autopsy.
The hulking streetball legend, built more like a heavyweight boxer standing a full 6ft 10ins and weighing in at 400lb was in LA for the NBA All-Star Weekend.
Jackson, was a Queens native who played collegiate basketball at Louisville but never went on to the NBA. Instead he became a legend of streetball after his time with the And 1 Mixtape Tour. The exhibition basketball tour was his home on the road in 2002 and he became one of the most famous streetball players after that.
He spent two years travelling in the company of the Harlem Globetrotters and his most recent tournament saw him go head to head with the Ball Up streetball team.
His brother Mark Jackson told the LA Post: “He travelled all around the world and touched so many lives. He will be greatly missed. Thanks for all your thoughts and prayers. God is still good.”
Tributes have also been paid by current and retired NBA stars such as Shaquille O’Neal and Rick Fox who gave their condolences via their Twitter pages.
“My heart goes out to Mark Jackson and his family who lost his brother last night, Escalade,” Tweeted O’Neal. “We lost a great person love u escalade. I’m sad.”
This is the second sibling tragedy Mark has suffered after losing his other brother to AIDS in the 1980’s. This led Troy to become a proponent of STD prevention.
Troy also appeared on Sports Illustrated’s June, 2005 edition cover.
His close friend and coach at Cardazo High School, Ron Naclerio, hailed him as “all class.”
“He was the gentlest giant there ever was,” Naclerio said.
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