Ken Berger of CBSSports.com has confirmed, via a Knicks spokesman, a TMZ report Monday morning that Hazell Stoudemire, Amar'e Stoudemire's older brother, died in a car accident early Monday morning. Amar'e Stoudemire has left the team in route to be with his family in Florida and will miss Monday's game vs. the Utah Jazz.
Stoudemire is originally from Lake Wales, Florida where the accident occurred.
From the AP:
Authorities are still investigating and awaiting test results to find out if alcohol was a factor. The Florida Highway Patrol said 35-year-old Hazell Stoudemire was not wearing a seatbelt and died at the scene.
"Our thoughts and prayers and everything's with him, and whatever time he needs to take, he'll take, and then we'll get him back as soon as possible," Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni said after the team's morning workout in Greenburgh, N.Y.
The highway patrol report said Hazell Stoudemire's SUV struck a trailer that was being towed by a truck early Monday morning. He had been driving on a highway in the heart of Florida's citrus country.
Hazell Stoudemire, who lived in Lakeland, Fla., was one of Amare's four brothers. The Knicks' forward also has three sisters. D'Antoni said Stoudemire "cherishes his family and he does a great job of maintaining all relationships."
Jared Jeffries will replace Stoudemire in the lineup.