Shaquille O’Neal thanked his Inside the NBA co-hosts for their support since it was announced that his younger sister passed away on Thursday.

His sister, Ayesha Harrison-Jex, passed away at the age of 40 after her fight with cancer. According to People Magazine, she was diagnosed three years ago.

O’Neal’s TNT colleagues,  Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith, sent their condolences in a heartfelt message during Thursday night’s broadcast.

“When he struggles, we struggle with him, because he’s one of our brothers,” Johnson said in the tribute.  “He said his world revolves around his brother and two sisters, and he lost one of his sisters this morning, far too early.”

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O’Neal responded with a tweet: “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 graduated with a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree from Florida A&M University. She will be laid to rest in a military cemetery and will be buried next to O’Neal’s stepfather, Sgt. Phillip Harrison.

She is survived by her son Bryce.

Our thoughts are with her family and friends during this difficult time.

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