NBA All-Star Scottie Pippen is reflecting on grief, two months after the death of his son, Antron Pippen.
“I will continue to gain strength because today there is none,” Pippen, 55, told People, noting that he will also “continue to heal.”
The retired athlete, who said he is "good" but has “moments of ups and downs,” spent Father’s Day hosting a basketball camp in his home state of Arkansas. Though he spoke to his children on the phone, it wasn't the same as celebrating with them in person.
“It was tough,” Pippen recalled. “I was kind of on the road… so I wasn’t really around my kids.”
Antron, who played basketball in college, died unexpectedly at the age of 26. The cause of his death has not been shared publicly. Antron was the oldest of Pippen’s eight children.
Pippen announced Antron’s passing with a post on Instagram in April. Antron’s mother is Pippen’s ex-wife, Karen McCollum.
“I’m heartbroken to share that yesterday, I said goodbye to my firstborn son Antron. The two of us shared a love for basketball and we had countless conversations about the game,” Pippen wrote at the time. “Antron suffered from chronic asthma and if he hadn’t had it, I truly believe he would’ve made it to the NBA. He never let that get him down, though — Antron stayed positive and worked hard, and I am so proud of the man he became.”
Days later, Pippen shared a throwback picture of himself and Antron goofing around at a game.
"Faithful, humble and resilient," Pippen captioned the image. "Loved by all who knew him his life and his legacy will endure RIP."
Pippen played 17 seasons and won six championships with the Chicago Bulls. The team honored Antron with a moment of silence following his death. During the tribute, they showed Antron’s photo on the arena’s jumbotron. Pippen took to Instagram to express his gratitude.
“Thank you, @chicagobulls, and to all of you who have reached out this week,” Pippen wrote. “I feel your love and support, and it means so much.”