A Nigerian basketball player Michael Ojo has died at the age of 27 after he collapsed during an individual practice in Belgrade, the capital of Serbia.
Ojo was taken to the hospital after he collapsed but could not be resuscitated according to local reports in Serbia.
The official cause of his death will be confirmed after an autopsy.
The 27-year-old had been based in Serbia where he played professional basketball for the three seasons since he left college basketball in the United States of America.
Ojo grew up in Nigeria where he first took to football before a growth spurt meant he was better suited for basketball.
“The man who introduced me to basketball came around, he lived in the neighbourhood, he travelled all over the place to Europe and America too. He came by and said, ‘What are you doing playing soccer?” Ojo told the Oaklandpress in 2017.
“He said, ‘Do you realize what basketball can do for you, can do for the family?’ I said, ‘No I never played basketball.’’’
He excelled at the Giants of Africa camp which was founded by Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri and got an opportunity to go to the United States to further his education.
While a senior at Florida State, Ojo tried out for several NBA teams but unable to get drafted, he started off his professional career in Belgrade with FMP and played with them for a year before he joined Red Star Belgrade where he played for two seasons.
He won the 2018 ABA SuperCup as well as the ABA League and the Serbian League in 2019.
Ojo was stuck in Belgrade all through the coronavirus pandemic due to visa issues and was staying active with individual training sessions at Partizan Belgrade's facility while fielding interest from international teams.