Former Illini Center Robert Archibald Dies at 39

Matthew Stevens

Former Illinois men’s basketball player Robert Archibald has passed away at the age of 39.

University of Illinois athletics officials confirmed Archibald’s death Friday afternoon but further details were not known. Illinois athletics spokesperson Kent Brown told Illini Now/Sports Illustrated Friday evening that Archibald was a resident in the Lincoln Park, a suburb of Chicago, but couldn’t confirm where Archibald was located at the time of death.

Archibald, who played on the Illini basketball team from 1998-99 to 2001-02, was born in Scotland but moved to Wildwood, Missouri to finish his high school career at Lafayette High School.

Archibald's father confirmed to The Guardian his son had been found dead at his home on Thursday.

Archibald played for two different Illini head coaches and played on three Illinois teams that qualified for the NCAA Tournament. Archibald originally signed to play at Illinois for Lon Kruger in 1998 in a freshman class that included fellow frontcourt players Lucas Johnson and Damir Krupalija. After his second season at Illinois, Archibald played a pair of seasons under Bill Self. It was his senior year under Self where Archibald, who averaged 6.2 points and 4.1 rebounds per game in his four-year career, took a significant step in player development from quality reserve center to a 31-game starter on a team that reached the Sweet 16 in 2002.

Archibald was a second-round pick of the Memphis Grizzlies in 2002 and would eventually play 44 career games in the NBA for four different teams. Archibald, who stood 6-foot-11, played four seasons in the Euroleague in Italy, Spain and Ukraine before retiring from basketball after the 2012 Summer Olympics where he represented Great Britain.