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American coach of Vietnam’s Saigon Heat dies of accident, aged 49

Monday, September 22, 2014, 17:25 GMT+7
American coach of Vietnam’s Saigon Heat dies of accident, aged 49
Saigon Heat coach Jason Rabedeaux (R) poses for a photograph with Connor Nguyen, founder of the Saigon Sports Academy, in this 2012 file photo.

The head coach of Vietnam’s first-ever professional basketball team Saigon Heat died of a sudden accident at his home in Ho Chi Minh City on Monday, less than 24 hours after he led the team through a home victory at the 2014 ASEAN Basketball League.

American-born Jason Rabedeaux was found lying unconscious, apparently after falling, at his home at 6:20 am today, according to family members.

But the 49-year-old coach died en route to the FV Hospital in District 7, they said.

On Sunday, Rabedeaux and his men beat Indonesia Warriors 72-61 at the Maple Leaf Sports and Cultural Center in District 7 to reclaim their fourth spot on the tally of the 2014 ASEAN Basketball League.

The coach started taking the helm at Saigon Heat in 2012. He had 20 years of experience working in professional basketball in the U.S., China, Japan, and Bahrain.

He impressed Vietnamese fans with the way he inspired his players, and his success in training such talented Vietnamese players as Phan Tran Man, Tran Tien Thinh, and Nguyen Ngoc Thanh at Saigon Heat.

Saigon Heat was formed by the Saigon Sports Academy, a multi-sports training facility based in Ho Chi Minh City, in 2009 and was officially announced as a member of the ASEAN Basketball League in October 2011.

Besides local players, there are also players from the U.S. and the Philippines playing for the team.

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