Troy Jackson found dead in hotel room

LOS ANGELES -- Former popular streetball standout and Louisville Cardinals player Troy 'Escalade' Jackson has died. He was 35.

Fred Corral with the Los Angeles County Coroner's office said Monday Jackson was found unresponsive in a hotel room shortly before noon on Sunday morning. An autopsy is pending.

Jackson, the younger brother of longtime NBA star Mark Jackson, spent two seasons at Louisville as a reserve under coach Denny Crum. His nephew, Mark Jackson Jr., is currently a freshman walk-on with the Cardinals.

"We lost a great man of God, my Uncle," Mark Jackson Jr. posted on his Twitter account. It "consoles my heart to know he's in a better place WE WILL ALL MISS YOU!"

Troy Jackson battled weight problems his entire career but became a popular fixture on the streetball circuit, where he carried the nickname "Escalade" because of his size. He was listed at 6-foot-10 inches and 375 pounds while being a part of the And1 Mixtape tour in 2002.

Louisville coach Rick Pitino, who coached Mark Jackson with the New York Knicks and coached against Troy Jackson while at Kentucky in the 1990s, said he was "saddened" by Troy's passing.

"He was a young man to lose his life and our prayers go to the Jackson family," Pitino said.