After an 8 month battle against leukemia, also commonly known as blood cancer, Memphis Tiger’s forward Karim Sameh Azab passed away on November 15, 2018.
— karim azab (@kimosameh) January 10, 2018
It all started last April when Azab has been complaining of feeling discomfort in his shoulder and felt a lump that was underneath his armpit. After going to the hospital, he discovered that he has Stage IV cancer. Doctors said that he would only have six months to live if he did not seek treatment immediately Newsweek cited.
Greg Jones, who served as Azab’s legal guardian when he arrived in the United States from Giza, Egypt, reminisces,
“The one thing I will remember most about Karim is his smile, his personality and just how he just embraced life,” Jones said Thursday night. “He was a person that never took anything for granted. He always gave 100 percent … toward everything he did. He didn’t have much, but he would give you the shirt off his back if he had to.”
Jones hopes that the story of Azab would inspire patients facing a similar ailment to push on and for everyone to remember Azab as a gentle giant.
Standing at 6’10 inches and 269 lbs, Azab was a giant alright. Last season, Azab played for 84 minutes and score an impressive 15 points and grabbed 11 rebounds.
RIP my brother! Never will forget those CP3 days. I’m sorry I didn’t get to come see you last year in Memphis. Killed me inside when I couldn’t. Crazy cause we play in Memphis tomorrow. Dedicated my game to you brother. Watch over me ❤️ https://t.co/2alVXRselQ
— Harry Giles III (@HGiiizzle) November 16, 2018
According to ESPN, Memphis president M. David Rudd said in condolence,
“The University of Memphis is deeply saddened by the passing of Karim Azab,” said Rudd. “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.”
It was also reported that Azab represented Egypt at the FIBA Africa U18 Championship in 2014, totaling 40 points and 38 rebounds in seven games, winning a gold medal.
Following Azab’s initial diagnosis, Memphis set up a donation page to help his family with medical expenses. According to USA Today, the donation page helped raise more than $12,000.