Basketball legend Shaquille O'Neal loses sister Ayesha

Shaquille O’Neal and sister Ayesha Harrison-Jex

Shaquille O'Neal and sister Ayesha Harrison-Jex

Shaquille O’Neal and sister Ayesha Harrison-Jex

NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal has lost one of his siblings around whom he said his life revolves.

Ayesha Harrison-Jex, mother to a son, died Thursday night aged 40, following a cancer battle, three years after her diagnosis.

The former Los Angeles Laker, 47, did not appear in his regular slot on TNT’s Inside the NBA Thursday amid the family tragedy, as he remained with relatives in Orlando, Florida.

The 7ft1 hoops legend’s TNT co-host Ernie Johnson shared the heartbreaking news amid warm words and condolences in his colleague’s family tragedy.

Shaquille O’Neal : devastated

‘He said his world revolves around his brother and two sisters and he lost one of his sisters this morning far too early at the age of 40, from cancer,’ Johnson said on the broadcast.

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Ayesha Harrison-Jex was mother to a son named Bryce and graduated from Florida A&M with both bachelor’s and master’s degrees, according to Johnson.

‘Trying to put into words the way Shaquille has reacted to this and he’s struggling … hearts are breaking in Shaq’s family and in our family as well,’ Johnson said. ‘When he struggles, we struggle with him because he’s one of our brothers … basically the big fella, who I’ve described as the biggest kid in the world, his heart is breaking.’

He wrapped up in addressing O’Neal in saying, ‘Big fella, you hang in there.’

*Reported by Mail Online