On this day in Boston Celtics history, former Celtics big man Fab Melo (rest in peace) was traded to the Memphis Grizzlies in exchange for Donté Green in 2013. Fabricio Paulino de Melo (his full name) was a native of Juiz de Fora, Minas Gerais, Brazil who played his collegiate basketball at Syracuse University and was later selected 22nd overall by the Celtics in the 2012 NBA draft.
Melo would struggle to find his footing at the NBA level, spending much of his time with the team’s developmental franchise in the G League, (then) the Maine Red Claws (now, Celtics).
He also spent too much time in the press for his clumsiness, overshadowing his basketball abilities at times.
A gregarious soul, the Syracuse product would eventually return to Brazil to play professionally in his home country.
Tragically, he died mysteriously of natural causes in his sleep at just 26 years old in 2017 — taken much too soon.
It is also the birthday of former Boston forward Ed Stanczak.
Born this day in 1921 in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Stanczak jumped right to the NBA several years after high school, joining the (now defunct) Anderson Packers in the 1946-47 season while they were still a part of the National Basketball League (NBL – a precursor league of the NBA).
The Indiana native would be drafted by Boston in the dispersal draft after the Packers folded at the end of the 1949-50 season, and Stanczak would play just 19 games for the Celtics the next season.
He averaged 3.2 points and 1.9 rebounds per game in his brief time with Boston.
It is also the birthday of Celtics short-timer center Bruno Fernando.
Born in Luanda, Angola in 1998, Fernando played his college ball with Maryland before being picked up 34th overall in the 2019 NBA draft by the Philadelphia 76ers, who soon dealt him to the Atlanta Hawks for Jordan Bone and draft assets.
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