Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert’s son dies at 26
CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - The son of Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, Nick, died at 26 years old.
Nick’s death was confirmed in an obituary posted May 6.
Nick died at home peacefully surrounded by family after a lifelong battle with neurofibromatosis, according to an announcement from the Ira Kaufman Chapel in Southfield, Michigan.
Neurofibromatosis, commonly referred to as NF, is a genetic disorder with no known cure.
The Cavs dedicated their 2022-23 season to Nick and millions around the world impacted by NF with the launch of their Bow Tie campaign.
Bowties were displayed on the team’s warm-up jackets, along with lapel pins worn by broadcasters and front office staff, throughout the season.
The Gilberts, who have multiple businesses based in Detroit, also founded NF Forward, a non-profit bringing awareness to NF, in 2017.
Both Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan shared their sympathies towards the Gilbert family following Nick’s passing.
Nick was known to bring good luck for the Cavs during previous draft lotteries, including in 2011 when the Cavs won the 1st overall pick that turned into Kyrie Irving.
The Cavs benefitted from Nick’s good luck charm over multiple seasons when the team landed top-10 draft picks.
The Cleveland Guardians, prior to Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Twins, held a moment of silence in Nick’s memory.
“Thank you, @CleGuardians,” Dan Gilbert said. “Much appreciation. Nick loved Cleveland - especially the people of Cleveland. The parade in 2016 was one of the happiest days of his life. He also attended the last game of the 2016 World Series with me, pulling for Cleveland with everything he had.”
“It is with heavy hearts that we join the Gilbert family and the Rock Family of Companies in mourning the loss of Nick Gilbert, who passed away yesterday from complications related to Neurofibromatosis 1 (NF1).
Nick was a light and inspiration to so many throughout his 26 years of life. Whether taking on his signature role as the Cavs’ good luck charm during several NBA Draft Lotteries or using his voice to advocate in the fight against NF, Nick’s unrelenting spirit has been a driving force behind our organization.
It was our honor to stand with Nick this past season and celebrate the strength and resilience of all those impacted by NF. Our season-long Bow Tie campaign was a constant reminder that there’s still more work to be done to find a cure.
Those who would like to honor Nick’s memory are asked to contribute to NF Forward at nfforwarddetroit.org/donate.
We send our thoughts, prayers and love to the entire Gilbert family and to everyone who loved Nick.”
A funeral will be held in West Bloomfield Township, Michigan on May 9.
Read the tributes to Nick Gilbert from notable Cleveland sports figures
This is a developing story. Return to 19 News for updates.
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