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UNC Basketball Releases Statement On Former Player's Death

A basketball game being played between Duke and UNC.

CHAPEL HILL, NC - FEBRUARY 17: A general view of the North Carolina Tar Heels versus Duke Blue Devils during their game at Dean Smith Center on February 17, 2016 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

As the Tar Heels family continues to mourn the loss Ademola Okulaja, UNC basketball released an official statement on his passing Tuesday.

Per the school's verified Twitter account:

"Carolina Basketball is saddened to learn of the recent, premature passing of Tar Heel forward Ademola Okulaja (1995-99) at age 46. Our thoughts and condolences are with his family, friends and teammates. #CarolinaFamily"

Known for his all-out effort and leadership, the German-born Okulaja endeared himself to UNC fans and teammates alike over his four years in Chapel Hill.

A hardworking role player for the Tar Heels of the mid-to-late 90s, Ademola Okulaja would go on to earn All-ACC honors as a senior, as well as the team's MVP award.

He'd go on to have a long and respected career in Europe, even playing with the likes of Dirk Nowitzki for his native country. 

Okulaja was reportedly fighting cancer for a number of years before his untimely death.

His impact won't soon be forgotten in Tar Heel country.