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Basketball World Is Paying Tribute To Ademola Okulaja Today

BERLIN, GERMANY - AUGUST 31:  Laenderspiel 2003, Berlin; Deutschland - Italien (GER - ITA); Ademola OKULAJA/GER, Dirk NOWITZKI/GER  (Photo by Vladimir Rys/Bongarts/Getty Images)

BERLIN, GERMANY - AUGUST 31: Laenderspiel 2003, Berlin; Deutschland - Italien (GER - ITA); Ademola OKULAJA/GER, Dirk NOWITZKI/GER (Photo by Vladimir Rys/Bongarts/Getty Images)

German basketball legend Ademola Okulaja has passed away at 46 years old. The cause of death is unknown, but he had been battling cancer on and off since he was first diagnosed in 2008.

BIG, a German basketball outlet, was the first to report the news.

Okulaja played a total of 172 international matches for the German national team from 1995-2007. He was a team captain for many of those years.

In addition to his international basketball success, Okulaja was also a standout forward for the University of North Carolina. He played four seasons in Chapel Hill (1995-99), suiting up alongside fellow Tar Heel legends Vince Carter and Antwan Jamison.

Okulaja appeared on the "Carolina Insider" podcast just this past weekend.

The basketball world took to Twitter to pay tribute to Okulaja on Tuesday.

"My heart is breaking right now. Huge loss for the #CarolinaFamily Ademola Okulaja was a great teammate & brother to us all. #F---Cancer," former UNC star Scott Williams wrote.

Okulaja was diagnosed with a spinal tumor just before the 2008 Olympic games. He was eventually able to make his return to professional basketball, but retired in 2010.

Following his retirement from basketball, Okulaja launched his career as a sports agent and German basketball broadcaster. He was the father of two sons.

Our thoughts go out to the Okulaja family through this difficult time.