Former D’Tigers invitee, Michael Ojo has passed away in hospital after suffering a heart attack.
The 27-year-old Nigerian-American collapsed during training in Belgrade, Serbia, according to local media report.
Ojo is said to have suffered the heart attack at the Partizan stadium, and was then transferred to the emergency centre where resuscitation was attempted.
He played in Serbia throughout his professional career, which began in 2017.
Ojo attended Florida State and as a senior player he averaged 4.9 points and 3.2 rebounds per game.
But instead of an NBA career, he signed a contract with Serbian side, Kosarkaski klub FMP, commonly known as KK FMP.
After a year, he would then move on to Crvena Zvezda, a major part of the Red Star multi-sports club who also have a football team.
Ojo, a centre, was 7ft 1in tall and weighed 22st.
His shoe size was 21, so big Nike reportedly invested £11.5million in a machine to create a sneaker that properly fit him.
Last year he won the Serbian top tier, the Adriatic League title, with Zvezda.
Leading the tribute is NBBF President, Musa Kida who bemoaned the sudden demise of the 27 year old.
“This is another flower that unexpectedly withered at such a time it was expected to start blossoming.
“After a sterling College career in the United States of America and after securing a professional deal in Belgrade, it is so sad that the basketball world has been robbed of this emerging talent who has been described as one of the tallest to play basketball in Serbia.”
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In his own reaction, the Federation’s Vice President, Babs Ogunade said, “I met with him in February at the FIBA Women’ Olympic qualifying tournament in Serbia. I watched his match against Partizan Basketball. He was such a calm and unassuming personality”.
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