Former Roman Catholic and Massachusetts hoops standout Lari Ketner died Friday morning after a year-long battle with colon cancer.
After starring for Roman (Class of 1995), the 6-foot-10 Ketner went on to play for UMass for three seasons. Drafted by the Chicago Bulls with the 49th overall pick of the 1999 NBA Draft, he ended up playing for the Bulls (1999-2000), Cleveland Cavaliers (1999-2000), and Indiana Pacers (2000-01).
After his brief NBA career, Ketner, who helped the Cahillites to a 27-3 record and sixth straight Catholic League championship in 1994, played with a few minor-league teams.
Ketner, 37, served as an assistant coach at Roman from 2009 to 2011, serving under Chris McNesby. The two were teammates and classmates at Roman.
"He had a great smile, was a funny guy," McNesby said. "He loved being around the game and working with the kids. It was great to reconnect with him when he came back as a coach."
Ketner, who was living in Indianapolis, is survived by his wife, Aquarius. He was the father of three children.