Who was Zeke Upshaw: How are Detroit Pistons related to its death?

Who was Zeke Upshaw: How are Detroit Pistons related to its death?

Zeke Upshaw

Late basketball player Zeke Upshaw had a tragic death as he passed away on the court, whilst playing the sport which he truly adored. Zeke mostly played as an overseas player and was on the verge of entering the NBA, but unfortunately left the world too soon.

Upshaw played in the NBA Development League for the Grand Rapids Drive in his final year as a professional player. He was in great shape and soared high performance-wise but collapsed one day on the floor and died shortly after. He was declared for the 2014 NBA draft but wasn’t picked up. Upshaw continued playing overseas, and he was undrafted and signed a contract with the Helios Suns in Slovenia. After one season with the Helios, Zeke played for a team in Luxembourg and returned to the United States of America.

Upshaw scored 11 points, helping his team advance to the playoffs by defeating the Long Island Nets. However, he collapsed to the floor with under a minute left in the game. He died from cardiac arrest two days later. Ultimately, Zeke’s mother, Jewel, filed a lawsuit against the NBA and the Detroit Pistons two months after her son’s death. In July 2019, a year after Zeke’s unfortunate death, the lawsuit was settled. However, its terms were not disclosed to the public.

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Know more about one of Detroit Pistons’ Zeke Upshaw’s basketball career

Zeke Upshaw played three years for the Redbirds, a basketball team for Illinois State University (ISU). He averaged 1.6 points per game but was later transferred to Hofstra for his final season of NCAA eligibility. He went undrafted in the 2014 NBA draft and had the option to enter the NBA Development League Draft. Instead, in September 2014, he chose to sign with the Helios Suns team, which plays in the Premier A Slovenian Basketball League.

In 30 games for Helios in the 2014–2015 season, he averaged 9.8 points and 3.2 rebounds per game. In August 2015, Upshaw shifted and signed with Basket Esch of Luxembourg’s Total League for the 2015–2016 season. In 27 games he played there, he averaged 20.9 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 1.1 assists per game.  

He then decided to enter the 2016 NBA Development League Draft and was selected in the fourth round by the Grand Rapids Drive, an affiliation of the Detroit Pistons.

In 34 games he played for them in the 2016–2017 season, he averaged 6.5 points and 3.0 rebounds per game. He later died from cardiac arrest, playing for the same team, as he fell and hit the deck hard.

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