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Zeke Upshaw passes away after collapsing on the court

CBS Chicago

CBS Chicago

Mya Gladding, Staff Writer

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On March 26th NBA D-League player Zeke Upshaw passed away after collapsing on the court; he was 26. Upshaw played four years in the NBA D-League before his passing.

Upshaw was driving to the basket and instantly collapsed. Upshaw was carried away on  a stretcher and taken to a nearby hospital. It wasn’t clear if he was conscious or not. Upshaw’s death was a “sudden cardiac death” and had “cardiac abnormalities,” according to Dr. Stephen Cohle. Cohle indicated that it may take a few weeks to continue the medical investigation.

The G-league has pushed back the start of the playoffs.

The Detroit Pistons held a moment of silence in Upshaw’s memory Monday night before their home game against the Los Angeles Lakers.

A member from the Grand Rapids Drive released a statement.

Zeke was an outstanding young man whose powerful belief in himself and uncommon perseverance led to a successful professional basketball career,” G League president Malcolm Turner said in a news release.

Numerous NBA players posted messages of sorrow after Upshaw’s death was announced. Some members of the Pistons wore tribute sneakers for Monday’s game. And so did Ben Simmons from the Philadelphia 76ers.

Detroit Pistons star Andre Drummond posted on twitter, “Lost a real one today, Tragic loss of Zeke Upshaw, my thoughts and prayers are with all of Zeke’s family and friends during this difficult time… Rest easy my guy.”

Upshaw started his college career at Illinois State. He averaged 1.6 points in 100 games with the Redbirds. He graduated with a degree in apparel, and merchandising and design.

Upshaw went undrafted. He played internationally in Slovenia and Luxembourg.

He spent the last 2 seasons of his career with Drive. He played 75 games and averaged 7.6 points.

His old college team was also hurt by the news.

“Zeke was one of the kindest and hardest-working student-athletes I have had the privilege to coach,” Hofstra coach Joe Mihalich said. “Zeke laid the groundwork for the success we are having now and we will never forget the impact he had on Hofstra basketball. Our entire program is heartbroken that he is no longer with us but his influence will continue to be felt throughout the Pride family.”

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Zeke Upshaw passes away after collapsing on the court