CLEVELAND (WJW) – The son of Dan Gilbert, the owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers, has died at the age of 26.
Nicolas Gilbert passed away on Saturday, according to his obituary.
Nick was born with neurofibromatosis, a genetic disorder that causes tumors to form on nerve tissue. The tumors are usually noncancerous.
“He was loved and cherished by many people including his parents, Daniel Gilbert and Jennifer Gilbert; his siblings, Grant of Gracie, AJ and Nash Gilbert; his grandparents, Shirley, Samuel Gilbert, Murk Goddard, Pamela and Robert Feldman; and his aunts and uncles, Gary (Charlotte Gilbert), Kevin (Robin Goddard), Andrea Gilbert, Richard (Patti Gilbert), Paul (Desiree Marz) and Alicia Fox. He was also cherished by many loving cousins, friends, and devoted doctors, nurses, and caregivers,” the obituary read in part.
A funeral service will be held on Tuesday at 1 p.m. at the Temple Israel in West Bloomfield Township, Michigan.
Nick gained national attention during the 2011 NBA Draft Lottery. With his thick-rimmed glasses and bow tie, he was the Cavs’ representative and good luck charm.
When asked about his dad calling him a hero, Nick answered with, “What’s not to like?” which took on a life of its own.
The Cavaliers scored the No. 1 pick that year, ultimately selecting Kyrie Irving.
Dan Gilbert is the founder of Quicken Loans and the chairman of JACK Entertainment. He also owns the Cleveland Monsters, Cleveland Gladiators and Canton Charge.
Sunday, Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb tweeted his condolences saying, “Rest in Power Nick Gilbert. You will forever be loved and remembered as a Cleveland legend. Sending prayers and condolences to the Gilbert family.”
The Mayor of Detriot, Michigan also tweeted, “Sonia and I were devastated this morning by the news that Dan and Jennifer Gilbert lost their beautiful son, Nick. Nick inspired people everywhere with his bravery and brought joy to everyone he met. All of Detroit has the Gilbert family in our prayers today.”
Larry Nance Jr., a former Cavs player, simply tweeted, “Rest easy Nick Gilbert.”
The Cavaliers also issued a statement Sunday, which said in part:
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.
The team said those who want to honor Nick can donate to NF Forward right here.