Beloved Son of Cavaliers Owner, Nick Gilbert, Passes Away at 26, Leaves Lasting Impact on Cleveland Sports

Nick Gilbert, the son of Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, passed away on May 7, 2023, at the age of 26. Nick had been diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder, neurofibromatosis type 1, when he was just 15 months old. Despite his condition, Nick became a beloved figure in Cleveland sports and was known for his positive attitude and his role in bringing good luck to the Cavaliers.

Nick gained national attention in 2011, when he represented the Cavaliers at the NBA draft lottery and famously wore a bow tie and thick-rimmed glasses. The Cavaliers won the lottery that year and selected Kyrie Irving with the first overall pick. Nick’s presence at the lottery became a good luck charm for the team, and he was invited back to represent the team at subsequent lotteries.

Nick also made a significant impact off the court. He founded the Nick Gilbert Family Foundation, which raised money for organizations that support children with physical and mental disabilities. The foundation also supported research into neurofibromatosis.

Dan Gilbert released a statement expressing his family’s grief and thanking the community for their support. He called Nick “a fighter” and “a beacon of hope and positivity.” The Cleveland Cavaliers also released a statement, calling Nick “an inspiration to us all” and promising to honor his memory.

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