Grand Rapids Drive forward, Zeke Upshaw, was transported to Spectrum Hospital after collapsing on the court in the closing seconds of Saturday night's game against the Long Island Nets.
According to a press release from Upshaw's mother Jewel, the 26 year old passed away Monday, March 26, at 11:16 a.m.
Jewel's full statement reads:
“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. 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. We’d also like to thank the Grand Rapids Drive for the support they have extended to our family.”
Upshaw, 26, had 11 points off the bench for Grand Rapids before leaving the game. The Grand Rapids Drive (29-21) earned their first playoff berth in the franchise’s four years in Grand Rapids on Saturday, March 24, at home against the Nets (27-23), winning 101-99.
Steve Jbara, owner of the Grand Rapids Drive said in a statement, “The entire Grand Rapids Drive family is mourning the tragic loss of Zeke Upshaw.
“Zeke had a warm personality and was a tremendous representative of our organization both on and off the court. Our thoughts are with all of Zeke’s family and friends during this difficult time.”
Jeff Bower, General Manager for the Detroit Pistons, also made a statement, saying in part, “Our organization is focused on providing necessary support for the Upshaw family as well as players and staff of the Grand Rapids Drive."
Out of respect for the family, no medical information will be released.
Upshaw was in his second season with the Drive. From Chicago, the 6-foot-6 swingman played three seasons at Illinois State and finished his college career with a year at Hofstra.
The Drive is the G League affiliate of the Pistons. The Drive's conference quarterfinals game has been rescheduled from March 27 to March 30.
The team will be playing the Raptors 905 from Mississauga in Ontario, Canada on Friday night, March 30.
Following the news that Upshaw had died, Drive teammates, the NBA G-League and basketball players from around the country shared their condolences on social media:
I'm glad I was able to be your roommate/teammate and spend the short amount of time with you that I did bro. You were such a good soul and always had that big ass Zeke smile on your face I swear😂 One thing I know is you passed doing what you LOVE! And that's hoop. And you were HOOPIN my guy.✊🏽 I'm not even worried bro I know you're in a much better place up there with the Creator than anyone here on Earth. Journey well my G & I'll see you soon, keep hoopin up there in heaven like I know you are!🤙🏽🙏🏽 #BigFella #Hamma #Hal
A post shared by Bronson Koenig (@bronsonkoenig) on
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