Alexandra McHale, the daughter of Minnesota basketball legend Kevin McHale, died over the weekend, it was announced Sunday.

Known as Sasha, she died Saturday in a Twin Cities hospital. She had turned 23 in late October and had been in college at Minnesota Duluth until illness forced her to take a leave of absence.

She played varsity for Totino-Grace High School for three years and made honorable mention all-state in 2008, the year her team won the Class 3A state title.

“She was an outstanding basketball player and the life of the locker room,” said Shannon Hartinger, her coach at Totino-Grace for three years. “She was a joy to be around. You could tell she loved to play basketball.” …

Kevin McHale became coach of the Houston Rockets last season but has been on a leave of absence since Nov. 10. The Houston Chronicle said the leave was to deal with his daughter’s health issues after she was hospitalized for a condition related to lupus, a chronic autoimmune disease that can damage any part of the body. The Lupus Foundation of America estimates 1.5 million people in the country have it.

– Reported by the Minneapolis Star Tribune