NBA mourns death of Zeke Upshaw, G League player who collapsed during game

Two days after collapsing on the court during a G League game and being rushed to a hospital, Grand Rapids Drive forward Zeke Upshaw died Monday morning. He was 26.

Upshaw was standing on the court in the final minute of Saturday’s game between Grand Rapids, the G League affiliate of the Detroit Pistons, and the Long Island Nets, the minor league club of the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets, before he fell to the floor, team representative Sarah Jbara told Medical personnel took Upshaw, a 6-foot-6 swingman who played college basketball at Illinois State and Hofstra before spending a couple of seasons playing in Europe, off the court on a stretcher and to a local hospital.

Upshaw’s mother, Jewel Upshaw, released a statement through the Drive on Monday to confirm that her son’s fight had ended:

Many members of the NBA community offered their condolences after news of Upshaw’s passing began to spread:

NBA players mourn the passing of Zeke Upshaw
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NBA players mourn the passing of Zeke Upshaw
Prayers out to Zeke Upshaw’s family 🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽
My heart goes out to his family and friends! This is sad!
My heart goes out to the family and friends of Zeke Upshaw!!! 🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾
R.I.P. 🙏🏼
My prayers and condolences go out to the family and friends of Zeke Upshaw🙏🏽🙏🏽
Praying For @zeke_upshaw Family & Friends! 🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾
My thoughts and prayers are with the Upshaw family and friends 🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽
Praying for the family, friends and teammates of zeke upshaw that’s really tragic. Rest In Paradise brother 🙏🏾
Hurts to see the news about Zeke Upshaw. My prayers and condolences go out to his family and friends.
U Never know the time our the hour RIP Zeke cherish your ppl while they are here
Hearing about the passing of Zeke Upshaw has me in a emotional state, once I was laid out on the floor the same way…
I’m heartbroken hearing about the passing of Zeke Upshaw. 26 years old - out there just doing something that he lov…

“The NBA G League family is devastated by the tragic passing of Zeke Upshaw,” G League President Malcolm Turner said in a statement. “Zeke was an outstanding young man whose powerful belief in himself and uncommon perseverance led to a successful professional basketball career. A beloved member of the Grand Rapids Drive, Zeke’s continuous improvement and tireless work ethic were hallmarks of his career. We extend our deepest condolences to his family and friends and the Drive organization.”

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Dan Devine is a writer and editor for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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