SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — A former Missouri State basketball player died over the weekend, according to the university.

Robert Yanders, 44, played for Missouri State-West Plains in 1999-2000 before transferring to Missouri State University, playing his final two seasons with the Bears.

Yanders’ basketball career began in Milwaukee at Vincent High School, where Yanders helped lead his team to championships in 1996, 1997, and 1998. Yanders is the only two-time All-American in MSU West Plains history.

Yanders was honored as a member of the 1999 USA National Team that toured New Zealand and was inducted into the MSU West Plains Hall of Fame in 2007.

He played 12 years as a pro, spending his first seven seasons playing in the British Basketball League. As a pro, he started over 300 games, scoring over 4,600 points and dishing out over 1,500 assists.

Yanders and his team developed The Basketball Movement in Nixa, which offers intense skill development, team training, mentorship, film analysis, motivational speaking, marketing, media coverage, and national exposure, according to its website

On behalf of our entire basketball family, we are deeply saddened by the passing of former Missouri State Bear Robert Yanders. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, his friends and all the young men and women he impacted during his life.

Dana Ford, Head Coach Missouri State Basketball

The cause of death has not been identified at this time. This story will be updated as more information becomes available.