Sadness shook the basketball world on Friday as news spread that Michael Ojo, who debuted in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague last season with Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade, had died after collapsing during a morning workout in the Serbia capital. He was rushed to a hospital but was not revived there. He was 27 years old.
Mr. Ojo, originally from Lagos, Nigeria, was a free agent since his contract with Zvezda ended on June 30.
Mr. Ojo was reported to have started an individual workout with his personal coach on the track at Partizan football stadium in Belgrade on Friday morning when, an estimated 15 minutes into his exercises, he collapsed and lost consciousness. An ambulance arrived and its crew attempted resuscitation measures, but without success. He was rushed to a hospital but never regained consciousness. He had no relationship with Partizan, whose stadium is used for individual workouts by athletes in many sports, some of whom witnessed Mr. Ojo's collapse on Friday.
Mr. Ojo had played in the Serbian capital with Zvezda the last two seasons, one in the 7DAYS EuroCup and last one in the EuroLeague. He played a total of 38 games in Euroleague Basketball competitions between 2018 and 2020 with totals of 195 points and 138 rebounds. Ojo also played for Florida State University from 2012 to 2017.
In a recent vlog for EuroLeague.net, Mr. Ojo explained that he had waited out suspension of the basketball season in Belgrade and eventually resumed workouts with Zvezda before the end of his contract.
Euroleague Basketball offers its condolences to Mr. Ojo's family, friends, teammates, coaches and the many fans who enjoyed his performances.
May he rest in peace.