Zeke Upshaw, NBA G League player from Chicago, dies after collapsing on court

Hofstra's Zeke Upshaw attempts a shot over the defense of Louisville's Montrezl Harrell during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game on Nov. 12, 2013, in Louisville. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

Zeke Upshaw, a swingman for the Detroit Pistons' G League affiliate who collapsed on the court during a game over the weekend, died Monday.

Upshaw, 26, died at a hospital, the Grand Rapids Drive said. No cause was disclosed. He collapsed Saturday night near the end of a game against the Long Island Nets.

Upshaw's mother, Jewel Upshaw, released a statement thanking the team and fans. Team owner Steve Jbara says the Grand Rapids area was fortunate to enjoy Upshaw's commitment to the community, especially children.

Malcolm Turner, the G League's president, said the league is devastated by Upshaw's death and extended the league's condolences to Upshaw's family and friends.

"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," he said in a news release.

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

He was in his second season with the Drive. The 6-foot-6 guard/forward from Chicago played three seasons at Illinois State University and finished his college career at Hofstra.
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