NBA player collapses on the court in the last minutes of the game, dies aged 26

Junie Sihlangu
Mar 27, 2018
06:57 A.M.

A young NBA player named Zeke Upshaw has suddenly died after collapsing during a game. He had gone into cardiac arrest.


According to Faith Family America, the star died on March 26, 2018. He collapsed during a game for the Drives on March 24, 2018, when the incident happened.

Zeke Upshaw, 26, collapsed on the court during a game in the final minutes of the fourth quarter this past Saturday.TMZ reported that at the time he had been stretchered off the court and rushed to the hospital.

There he remained in critical condition until he passed on Monday morning. Upshaw’s mother, Jewel Upshaw, and the Grand Rapids organization both released statements.


‘After continued efforts from the medical team at Spectrum Health, Zeke made his transition at 11:16 a.m. To family, friends, teammates, coaches, fans, and confidants, thank you for all your prayers and support during this most difficult time,’ Jewel shared.

People were asked to respect the family’s privacy at this time. Details of his memorial would be announced at a later date.

‘We ask that you respect our privacy at this time. Details of his memorial will be announced at a later date. We'd like to thank the many doctors and nurses at Spectrum Health for their efforts in caring for our son.’

Jewel Upshaw, Faith Family America, March 26, 2018

Upshaw’s mother thanked the doctors and nurses at Spectrum Health for their efforts in caring for her son. She also thanked the Grand Rapids Drive for the support that they had extended to her family.

MLive reported that Upshaw was in his second season with the Drive. He was a 6-foot-6 forward from Chicago who had played for Illinois State for three seasons before transferring to Hofstra.


As a senior in 2013 to 2014, he averaged 19.8 points and 4.1 rebounds. The player went undrafted and then played overseas before being drafted by the Drive in the fourth round of the G League’s development draft in 2016.

The Drive and the Detroit Pistons also issued an additional statement. Steve Jbara, the owner of the Grand Rapids Drive, said the Drive family was mourning the loss of Upshaw.


He shared that the player had a warm personality and was a tremendous representative of their organization both on and off the court. Grand Rapids was fortunate to be the benefactor of two seasons of Upshaw's commitment to the youth and non-profits within their community.

Jbara ended his statement by stating that Upshaw’s family and friends were in their thoughts during this difficult time. Jeff Bower, the general manager for the Detroit Pistons, extended his thoughts and prayers to the Upshaw family.

"Our organization is focused on providing necessary support for the Upshaw family as well as players and staff of the Grand Rapids Drive," he added.

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