Herald Staff Report
Hyde Park Native and minor league basketball player Zeke Upshaw died Monday morning, March 26, after collapsing on the court during a game in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Saturday, March 24.
According to statements from the Grand Rapids Drive, the NBA G League team Upshaw was playing for, Upshaw was transported to Spectrum Hospital after collapsing on the court in the closing seconds of Saturday’s game. He was pronounced dead at 11:16 a.m. on Monday.
“The Drive family is mourning the tragic loss of Zeke Upshaw,” said a statement from Grand Rapids Drive. “He 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.”
Updashaw’s mother Jewel Upshaw also issued a statement thanking “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.”
Upshaw, 26, grew up in the Hyde Park neighborhood and was one of the first basketball players at the University of Chicago Laboraroty Schools to earn a Division I basketball scholarship. From Lab School he attended Illinois State University where he played for the Illinois State Maroons.
He transferred to Hofstra University in Hempsted, New York, for his senior year in college where he continued to play basketball. He also played in Europe before he was drafted by the Grand Rapids Drive in the 2016 NBA Development League Draft.
Details of his memorial will be announced at a later date.