The sports community is sending messages of support and condolences to Shaquille O’Neal who is mourning the death of his sister, Ayesha Harrison-Jex. 

O’Neal’s sister died on Thursday at the age of 40 after a three-year battle with cancer.

Fellow NBA analysts Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith opened their Thursday night Inside The NBA broadcast with a touching tribute to Harrison-Jex, offering their colleague and his family some comforting words while he was away. 

“We have to tell you why you’re not seeing Shaquille O’Neal here on the set tonight. The big fella, who is described as being the biggest kid in the world… his heart is breaking tonight,” Johnson shared. “He said his world revolves his brother and two sisters, and he lost one of his sisters this morning.”

Barkley went on to share his support for O’Neal’s mother, who was reportedly best friends with his late mom. 

“When my mom passed away, she came and spent her last few days with my mom. So I just want to give Ms. Lucille a hug and tell her I love her.” he shared. “What she did for my mom, I can never thank them enough. I feel for her and Shaquille and the rest of the family.” 

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver sat in place of O’Neal during the show and sent his condolences to the former NBA player and his loved ones. 

“We always talk about the NBA as a family, and it’s times like this when we’re all together,” he said. 

Following the broadcast, Shaq tweeted, “Thanks for the condolences and the love. If I had older brothers, it would be you 3. Love y’all and love you more Candice.”

Harrison-Jex was a double graduate of Florida A&M University where she received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees, NewsOne reported. She is survived by her son, Bryce. 

It is not clear what form of cancer Harrison-Jex had.