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Rockets coach Kevin McHale's daughter dies at age 23

By Royce Young | NBA writer

Alexandra "Sasha" McHale, 23-year-old daughter of Houston Rockets coach Kevin McHale, died Saturday. According to the Houston Chronicle, she had long battled lupus, an auto-immune disease, and was hospitalized with a related condition.

Team owner Leslie Alexander released a statement on Sunday morning regarding her death:

"I extend my deepest condolences to Kevin and Lynn for the loss of their beautiful daughter, Sasha, on Saturday afternoon. 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."

McHale has been on a leave of absence to be with his family the past few weeks. Assistant Kelvin Sampson has assumed the coaching duties, and there is no timetable for McHale's return.

Officially, McHale was away tending to a "personal family matter" as the team had not disclosed the issue. A week ago, Sampson told reporters the situation appeared to be improving.

Rockets players expressed their sympathies. James Harden tweeted: "Praying for coach Mchale and family." Chandler Parsons tweeted: "R.I.P. Sasha."

McHale was previously an executive and coach with the Minnesota Timberwolves. Wolves owner Glen Taylor also released a statement:

"While Kevin was with our organization, we all watched Sasha grow up and become an outstanding young woman. She will be sorely missed by her family and friends."

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