Rockets head coach's daughter dies

Alexandra "Sasha" McHale dies at 23; coach remains on leave from team

HOUSTON - The daughter of Houston Rockets head coach Kevin McHale has died at 23.

The death of Alexandra "Sasha" McHale was announced by the team Sunday. She was reportedly suffering form the autoimmune disease, Lupus.

"Your own immune system attacks the body. Depending on which part of the body, it can be the skin, the heart, the lungs, the kidneys, so it can be relatively minor to very serious," said Dr. Francis Williams.

Kevin McHale has been on leave since Nov. 10 to deal with what the team called a "personal family matter."

"Sasha was a daddy's girl," said Kelvin Sampson, Rockets assistant coach. "I don't begin to even imagine what they're going through losing a child. It should be a law of life that parents should not have to bury their children."

Team owner Leslie Alexander said in a statement that he extends his "deepest condolences" over the loss of the McHales' "beautiful daughter." He called Kevin and wife Lynn "loving and dedicated parents who will need our continued support throughout this very difficult time." He said the "entire organization is mourning."

Kelvin Sampson has been the interim coach. There is no timetable for Kevin McHale's return.

The Lupus Foundation of America said Lupus affects more than 30,000 people in the Houston-area, and mainly attacks females 14 to 30 years old.

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