The Houston Rockets confirmed Sunday that head coach Kevin McHale’s daughter, Alexandra “Sasha” McHale, died Saturday afternoon at the age of 23.
Rockets owner Leslie Alexander issued a statement Sunday morning in regards to the passing of Sasha.
“I extend my deepest condolences to Kevin and Lynn for the loss of their beautiful daughter, Sasha, on Saturday afternoon,” Alexander said in the statement. “Kevin and Lynn are loving and dedicated parents who will need our continued support throughout this very difficult time. Our entire organization is mourning the McHale family’s loss and we ask that you keep them in your thoughts and prayers.”
Kevin McHale took a leave of absence on Nov. 10 for what the team called a personal family matter at the time. Rockets general manager Daryl Morey did not provide any specifics on the family situation, but did convey his concern for McHale.
“Kevin is a devoted family man who is needed back home in Minnesota at the moment,” Morey said. “The Rockets organization will keep Kevin and his family in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.”
Sasha, who turned 23 last month, reportedly had the auto-immune disease lupus and was recently hospitalized with a related condition, according to KTRK-TV in Houston.
There were no immediate details released about her death.
Rockets players immediately took to Twitter on Sunday to show their support for the McHale family.
“Praying for Coach McHale and his family,” guard James Harden wrote.
Chandler Parsons shared his condolences as well on the social media website. “R.I.P. Sasha,” he wrote.
Sasha graduated from Totino-Grace High School and played for the girl’s basketball team. She wore No. 32, the same as her father wore during his career with the Boston Celtics. She led her team in blocked shots as they won the 3A girls’ basketball tournament in 2008.
“She passes a lot more than I did,” McHale said of his daughter during the 2008 tournament. “She’s always been more of a team player. She doesn’t look to score as much. Her thing is defense and finding open teammates.”
Kelvin Sampson has been the interim coach since McHale’s leave of absence. There is no set timetable for his return.