Nicolas “Nick” Gilbert, the 26-year-old son of Rocket Mortgage and Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert and his wife Jennifer, died on Saturday.
Gilbert suffered from neurofibromatosis, a genetic disorder that causes tumors to grow on nerve pathways anywhere in the body. There is no known cure.
Nick is one of five Gilbert children.
A funeral service will be held on Tuesday at the Temple Israel in West Bloomfield Township, according to an online obituary.
Nick Gilbert was known as the Cavaliers’ good luck charm during the 2011 NBA draft lottery, when he served as the team representative during the live broadcast. The Cavaliers earned the No. 1 draft pick and later used it to select point guard Kyrie Irving.
In later years, Nick — with a bowtie and thick glasses — would return to the draft lottery. The Cavs also earned the No. 1 overall pick in 2013 and 2014.
In the 2022-23 season, the Cavaliers honored Nick and people affected by neurofibromatosis by dedicating their entire season to them. The team donned bowtie logos on their warmup jackets, while commentators, coaches and front office staff sported lapel pins bearing the emblem.
The Cavaliers organization issued the following statement Sunday:
“It is with heavy hearts that we join the Gilbert family and the Rock Family of Companies in mourning the loss of Nick Gilbert, who passed away yesterday from complications related to Neurofibromatosis 1 (NF1).
“Nick was a light and inspiration to so many throughout his 26 years of life. Whether taking on his signature role as the Cavs’ good luck charm during several NBA Draft Lotteries or using his voice to advocate in the fight against NF, Nick’s unrelenting spirit has been a driving force behind our organization.
“It was our honor to stand with Nick this past season and celebrate the strength and resilience of all those affected by NF. Our season-long Bow Tie campaign was a constant reminder that there’s still more work to be done to find a cure.
“Those who would like to honor Nick’s memory are asked to contribute to NF Forward at nfforwarddetroit.org/donate.
We send our thoughts, prayers and love to the entire Gilbert family and to everyone who loved Nick.”
This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Nick Gilbert, son of Cavs owner Dan Gilbert, dies at 26