Former Jewish commissioner of the National Basketball Association (NBA), David Stern, in December reportedly suffered a brain hemorrhage and remained under intensive care after urgent surgery. In a statement on Wednesday, the NBA said that the ailment caused the death of David Stern at the age of 77.

The NBA said that Stern died on Wednesday as a “result of brain hemorrhage” and expressed condolences to his family and NBA fans.​ Stern was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 2014 and the International Basketball Hall of Fame in 2016. He held the title of ‘Commissioner Emeritus’ within the NBA until his death.

Stern has been publicly credited with building the model for modern professional sports in the NBA, in terms of public service, global marketing and media distribution. During Stern’s tenure as commissioner, the league added seven new teams and saw a more than 30-fold increase in revenues, according to the NBA.

The Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) and the NBA Development League (G League) also were created while Stern was in charge.