Former Illini, Robert Archibald, dies at 39

By Brendyn Jones, Assistant Sports Editor

Former Illinois basketball player Robert Archibald passed away on Friday at the age of 39. Archibald, who was born in Paisley, U.K., played four years with the Illini from 1998-2002, playing a big role in the two Illinois Big Ten runner-up teams in 1999 and 2000.

Archibald became a consistent starter at the center position in his fourth year with the Illini, averaging 10.6 points and grabbing 5.5 rebounds per game.

After his tenure with the Illini, Archibald was drafted in the second round of the 2002 NBA Draft by the Memphis Grizzlies. He played 44 games in his NBA career for four different teams: Memphis Grizzlies, Phoenix Suns, Orlando Magic and Toronto Raptors.

After the NBA, Archibald played four seasons in Europe and competed for Great Britain in the 2012 Olympics. 

When the news was announced, members of the Illini community voiced their condolences on Twitter. CBS Chicago anchor and Illinois alumnus Ryan Baker, who was a friend of Archibald’s, tweeted about Archibald after his death. 

“I’m still in shock,” Baker said in a Tweet. “I’m in the bad news business, but it’s tough when it hits home. Devastated about the tragic loss of my friend & brother @RobertArchibald. So many memories of amazing times together, along with regret of not being there when he was struggling.”



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