(CNN)Retired NBA great Scottie Pippen announced the death of his eldest son, Antron, in a digital tribute.
Antron, who played basketball in college and shared many of his father's professional dreams, was the first of Pippen's seven children and his only child with ex-wife Karen McCollum.
Pippen didn't reveal Antron's cause of death or his age.
The former Chicago Bull influenced his son to play the sport he made his name in and improve his game, Antron Pippen said in 2005 from the NBPA Top 100 High School Camp, where he played alongside future greats such as Steph Curry.
Pippen said Monday his son "suffered from chronic asthma" and could have played in the NBA, too, if not for his illness.
"He never let that get him down, though -- Antron stayed positive and worked hard, and I am so proud of the man that he became," Pippen tweeted.