Hunter’s death was confirmed by his mother-in-law Carolyn Cliett to NBC News.
“It was hot yoga, and he did it regularly,” she said. “He was in good shape as far as we know. We’re just shocked.”
The athlete was a star player for Ohio University before he was drafted into the NBA and was inducted into the school’s Athletics Hall of Fame last year.
“We are saddened to hear about the loss of Ohio basketball legend Brandon Hunter. Our thoughts are with Brandon’s family at this time,” the school’s basketball team said in a statement.
Hunter briefly played for the Celtics in the 2003-2004 season, appearing in just 36 games. He then had 31 appearances for the Magic the following season.
“We are terribly saddened to learn of the loss of our former teammate, Brandon Hunter,” the team said in a statement. “We send our deepest condolences to the entire Hunter family.”
The athlete then had a successful career playing basketball internationally in France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Latvia and Uruguay before returning to the United States in 2013 and starting a real estate and sports management company.
Tim O’Shea, his former coach, said in a statement Hunter leveraged his experiences playing for the NBA and abroad into becoming a successful agent — helping place players on overseas teams.
“He was the best player I ever had the good fortune of coaching,” O’Shea said. “We stayed in touch over the years, and I was incredibly proud of the husband, father, and citizen he became.”
Hunter is survived by his wife, Mary, and three children.