Zeke Upshaw, former Chicago prep hoops star, dies after collapsing during game

Tanya Simon
March 27, 2018

Zeke Upshaw, a forward for the Grand Rapids Drive, died on Monday after collapsing during an National Basketball Association G-League game on Saturday in MI.

Sarah Jbara, a spokeswoman for the Drive, had told MLive.com that Zeke Upshaw tumbled to the floor Saturday night with about 50 seconds remaining in a home game against the Long Island Nets. "We'd also like to thank the Grand Rapids Drive for the support they have extended to our family". He was removed from the court on a stretcher and rushed to Spectrum Health.

The Drive announced Upshaw's untimely passing on Twitter on Monday. "What was remarkable was how fast a lady came out - within 10 seconds - she came sprinting out there with a defibrillator".

The team described Upshaw as "a tremendous representative of our organization both on and off the court". Grand Rapids was fortunate to be the benefactor of two seasons of Zeke's commitment to the youth and non-profits within our community.

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Many NBA players, including Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade and Timberwolves forward Karl-Anthony Towns, tweeted their condolences following the loss of the young player Monday. Our thoughts are with all of Zeke's family and friends during this hard time'.

Upshaw had scored 11 points to help the Drive earn a playoff spot with the 101-99 victory Saturday.

G League president Malcolm Turner said the league was "devastated" by Upshaw's death. He had players 29 minutes for the Drive before leaving the game.

In college, Upshaw played three seasons at Illinois State before spending his senior year at Hofstra during the 2013-2014 season.

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