Karim Sameh Azab of Memphis died Thursday of leukemia, the team announced.

"The University of Memphis is deeply saddened by the passing of Karim Azab," Memphis president M. David Rudd said in a statement. "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."

Azab had been battling the disease for nine months. He first learned of the cancer back in March after he felt some discomfort in his shoulder before the AAC championship. He announced his diagnosis on social media in April.

Originally from Giza, Egypt, Azab first arrived at Memphis in 2016. He was forced to sit out the 2016-17 season while awaiting clearance from the NCAA, but he was able to play 15 games last season for the Tigers, and he started in one of them.

"It is with great sadness and personal heartache that we mourn the passing of Karim Azab," Memphis athletic director Tom Bowen said in a statement. "Karim was a wonderful young man who was excited to be a part of the University of Memphis and Tiger basketball. My prayers and thoughts go out to Karim's parents and family."