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Memphis center Karim Sameh Azab dies after leukemia battle

Photo: University of Memphis

University of Memphis center died Thursday after a seven-month battle with leukemia.

Azab moved to North Carolina from Egypt, where he played for a travel basketball team, backing up current Sacramento Kings power forward, Harry Giles. He eventually moved to Chicago for his final year of high school before committing to Memphis.

Ex-Memphis coach Tubby Smith told The Commercial Appeal in April that Azab was faced with major discomfort in his shoulder leading into the Tigers’ appearance in the American Athletic Conference tournament. The sophomore center  then announced that he had been diagnosed with leukemia lymphoma and had since started treatment.

Azab played 15 games this past season coming off the bench. Eligibility issues sidelined him during the 2016-17 season.

Memphis president M. David Rudd issued a statement regarding the death of Azab:

“The University of Memphis is deeply saddened by the passing of Karim Azab. It is never easy when someone so young has their life cut short. Karim showed great courage battling with tremendous fight and determination. He was proud of being a Tiger, and Karim will be missed immensely. Our thoughts are with his family, as well as his friends, teammates and fellow UofM students, faculty and staff. The spirit of Karim will never be forgotten at the University of Memphis.” 

KingFut extends its best wishes to Karim’s family during this time of discomfort.

Since I was a kid, I dreamt of being a sports journalist. My journey began a year ago when I created my first sports news page on Facebook, called "Sports Unlimited News" and from there on my passion for sports journalism grew stronger. Now, here I am a Sports News Reporter and Features Writer at where I will strive to add value and learn as much as I can.

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