Grand Rapids Drive player Zeke Upshaw has passed away after collapsing on the court during the fourth quarter of the March 24 game against the Long Island Nets. Upshaw was rushed to the hospital after going into cardiac arrest. The team announced his passing on Twitter.
Statement from Jewel Upshaw, Zeke's mother: “After continued efforts from the medical team at Spectrum Health, Zeke made his transition at 11:16 am. To family, friends, teammates, coaches, fans & confidants, thank you for your prayers and support during this most difficult time. pic.twitter.com/1AutFtIFwU— Grand Rapids Drive (@grdrive) March 26, 2018
Jewel Upshaw (continued): "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 Drive for the support they have extended to our family.” pic.twitter.com/sSLsWvfTny— Grand Rapids Drive (@grdrive) March 26, 2018
Upshaw was a legend at his high school, Chicago Library, in Chicago, IL due to his fantastic play on the court and leadership. He was the first student-athlete at the school to receive a Division I college scholarship when he commited to play basketball at Illinois State. His high school coach, Troy Caldwell, praised Upshaw for his leadership on the court which led to some of the best seasons in school history.
Upshaw played three years at Illinois State where he averaged only 1.6 points per game in three seasons. He transferred to Hofstra University for his final college season where he averaged 19.8 points per game to jump start his professional career.
After going undrafted, Upshaw played a couple season in Europe before signing with the Grand Rapids Drive in 2016 where he has played ever since. Upshaw was averaging 8.5 points per game this season off the bench for the Drive and shooting 41 percent from beyond the long line.
Upshaw was only 26 years old. He clearly left an impact in the community that he grew up in and it is sad to see somebody pass away at such a young age. Rest in peace Zeke.