UNITED STATES – Nigerian-American basketball player, Michael Ojo has passed away after suffering a heart attack during training in Belgrade, Serbia.
The 27-year-old who previously played for Red Star Belgrade was reportedly having an individual practice at Partizan’s stadium when he collapsed on Friday, August 7.
Local media said he was rushed to the hospital from Partizan’s stadium but showed no signs of life and was confirmed dead.
“We are deeply saddened by the news”, Red Star’s spokesperson Igor Vujicin told AFP.
The Lagos-born who was 7ft 1in tall and weighed 22st played for Florida State University in the United States, before starting his professional career in Belgrade, Serbia with FMP for a year after which he played two seasons for Crvena Zvezda.
He won the 2018 ABA SuperCup as well as the ABA League and the Serbian League in 2019. Ojo was a free agent this summer.
Ojo had been without a club since June 30 but was training with Red Star.
Red Star Belgrade released a statement mourning the shocking loss of their former star.
“The sudden and shocking death of Michael Ojo has deeply affected everyone — players, coaches and the management of a club that accepted him from the first day, and that he considered his own,” Red Star said.
His former teammates and EuroLeague also extended condolences to Ojo’s family, teammates, coaches, “and many fans who enjoyed his performances”.