Prodigal Basketball Player RJ Barrett's Brother Died — What Happened to Nathan?

Nathan's family said he was "a God-fearing young man of strong character. He was thoughtful, kind, loving, compassionate, creative, admirable, and driven."

Callie (Carlos) Cadorniga - Author
By

Mar. 15 2024, Published 10:07 a.m. ET

RJ Barrett before the Toronto Raptors’ game against the Portland Trail Blazers at the Moda Center on March 9, 2024
Source: Getty Images

When it comes to professional athletes, we're used to following their lives solely related to their activity on the field or the court. Whether they're making major plays, marking historic accomplishments, or simply rising in the world of sports, it's easy for many fans to see how these titans are performing and apply that to their entire lives. When it comes to Toronto Raptors player RJ Barrett, the young Canadian NBA player has already obtained several accolades.

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Although it might be easy for people to assume that a player as accomplished as RJ has already hit it big in basketball, he has a personal life just like any celeb. And of course, tragedy can strike when one least expects it.

In mid-March 2024, RJ was blindsided by a major loss when his younger brother Nathan passed away. Nathan had been pursuing a basketball career leading up to his death. Do we know anything about his cause of death? Here's what's been revealed so far.

RJ Barrett looks on against the Cleveland Cavaliers during the first half of their basketball game on Feb. 10, 2024
Source: Getty Images
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What was Nathan Barrett's cause of death?

In a statement released on Twitter that currently limits its viewers, the Barrett family confirmed that Nathan passed away on March 12, 2024. Although his age at the time of his passing wasn't disclosed, previous interviews have confirmed that Nathan was four years younger than his brother, making him only 19 at most. Shortly after RJ left high school in pursuit of his basketball career, Nathan joined the prep basketball team at Montverde Academy.

Not much is known about Nathan beyond that, and we'll unfortunately never know if he could have followed in his older brother's footsteps. As of this writing, no cause of death has been revealed.

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In the statement, Nathan's surviving family called him "a God-fearing young man of strong character. He was thoughtful, kind, loving, compassionate, creative, admirable, and driven."

It also states, "While our family is devastated by this great loss, we will continue to cherish the memories and time spent together."

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RJ Barrett was absent from a Raptors' game following his loss.

Nathan's surviving brother RJ has long since made a splash in the world of basketball. The Toronto-born athlete was drafted by the New York Knicks as the third pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. He would later join the Toronto Raptors in 2023.

Understandably, CNN reports that RJ was absent from a game that took place on March 13, 2024, the day after his brother died. That night, the Raptors lost 113-104 against the Detroit Pistons.

Our deepest condolences go out to RJ Barrett and the rest of Nathan's family and loved ones during this difficult time.

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