(WTNH) — Legendary NBA basketball player and former University of Connecticut Huskies basketball star Clifford Robinson has died at the age of 53, according to ESPN.

UConn basketball wasn’t always the national program that it is today. And it had to start somewhere. It started the day Robinson came to the Storrs campus from Buffalo.

He played four seasons at UConn, averaging over 15 points and 6 rebounds a game. The 6′ 10” power forward was a key cog in a Husky machine that ended up winning the NIT back in 1988. Robinson was named to the All-Big East team twice in those four years. His jersey number, 00, was retired in 2007.

Web Extra: Former UConn Men’s Basketball coach Jim Calhoun talks about Clifford Robinson’s involvement with team

Robinson also played 18 seasons in the NBA with the Portland Trail Blazers, Pheonix Suns, Detroit Pistons, Golden State Warriors, and the New Jersey Nets.

The UConn Men’s Basketball team confirmed the news Saturday on social media, mourning the loss of their former teammate:

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont retweeted the Huskies, saying, “A devastating loss. Condolences to Cliff’s family and friends. #UConnLegend”

A former teammate of Robinson is also responding to the tragic news:

Cliff leaves his wife Heather and son Isaiah.

Web Extra: SportzEdge Time Machine: Cliff Robinson (2016)