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Mother of Zeke Upshaw Files Wrongful Death Suit Against NBA, Pistons

Jewel Upshaw, mother of Grand Rapids Drive guard Zeke Upshaw, is filing a wrongful death suit against the NBA, Pistons, and others after her son suffered “sudden cardiac death,” on the court.

According to Yahoo! Sports, Jewel Upshaw, mother of Grand Rapids Drive guard Zeke Upshaw, is filing a wrongful death suit after her son suffered “sudden cardiac death,” during a March 24th matchup against the Long Island Nets.

The NBA, Detroit Pistons and SSJ Group, (owners of the Grand Rapids Drive) and the Deltaplex Arena (the game’s venue) are listed as defendants in the suit.

The suit asserts that Upshaw’s death came “as a direct result of the negligence of the Defendants named in this litigation.”

Via the New York Post, the suit went on to say, “There appeared to be uncertainty, indecisiveness, and a complete and utter lack of appreciation of the severity of the moment as the basketball player’s life silently slipped away on the hard wood floor in front of them,”

”Remarkably, for much longer than four full minutes, no (CPR) was initiated, no chest compressions were started, no oxygen mask was placed on his nose and mouth, no airway was cleared and secured, and no defibrillator sensors and electric delivery patches were attached and secured to Zeke’s chest. ”There appeared to be uncertainty, indecisiveness, and a complete and utter lack of appreciation of the severity of the moment as the basketball player’s life silently slipped away on the hard wood floor in front of them,” says the suit filed Wednesday in Manhattan Federal Court.

“Zeke Upshaw, improperly attended, was left to lie unconscious on the hardwood, in his team’s full uniform, slowly dying as his otherwise healthy heart sat, unbeating in his chest,” the suit explains. “A heart that likely only needed a compression series, or a charged delivery from a defibrillator, to begin to pound again and to pump blood and life back into Zeke Upshaw. However, according to witnesses, no one ever attempted to revive him.”

Playing in crunch time of a crucial contest, Upshaw scored 11 points to uplift the Drive to its first postseason appearance during his last contest. He immersed himself in the team’s culture and became an integral member of the Grand Rapids community during his playing days, serving as an advocate for bullied and troubled youth.

Having just completed his second season with the Drive, Upshaw averaged 8.5 points and shot 41% from deep through 41 contests. Following his death, the sharpshooting swingman received an honorary NBA call-up to the affiliated Pistons.