Report: Suit over Drive player’s death settled

Kent County
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An undated courtesy photo of Zeke Upshaw.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The NBA and Detroit Pistons have settled a lawsuit filed by the mother of a Grand Rapids Drive player who died last year after collapsing during a game, ESPN reports.

A Wednesday report by ESPN did not include the details of the settlement.

Zeke Upshaw, 26, died in March 2018, two days after he collapsed on the court at the DeltaPlex in Walker. An autopsy found his was a “sudden cardiac death” caused by the heart disease arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathy.

In the months after her son’s death, Jewel Upshaw filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the NBA, the Pistons, the Drive owner group and the DeltaPlex. The suit alleged they were at fault for Upshaw’s death by not starting CPR right away or using a defibrillator.

An autopsy said that was because Upshaw indicated to trainers that he had been hit in the head, so they were treating him as if he had a concussion, not a heart problem.

But Jewel Upshaw said she didn’t believe her son was conscious enough to answer any questions. Her suit says the people who responded after her son collapsed weren’t properly trained to help him.

Her suit also claimed that the NBA and Pistons didn’t do enough to teach recruits about the risk of heart problems when playing basketball and prevent problems.

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