Former FSU center Ojo, 27, dies during workout

Former Florida State basketball participant Michael Ojo has died on the age of 27, the college and his former membership Crimson Star Belgrade confirmed Friday.

Ojo, a 7-foot-1 middle from Nigeria, was conducting a person follow in Belgrade when he collapsed, was taken to an area hospital and couldn’t be resuscitated, based on Serbian information shops. A Crimson Star official couldn’t verify the reason for his loss of life because the membership awaited outcomes of an post-mortem.

“In all of my years of coaching, I’ve never been around a person who captivated the emotions of everybody he came into contact with like Michael,” Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton mentioned in an announcement. “He had to be the most popular person in Tallahassee, and, certainly at Florida State University.

“Michael Ojo was an exquisite, great human being. He was an incredible teammate and actually represented what the Seminole spirit is all about. He was one of many purest Seminoles that I’ve ever been round; he shall be missed tremendously by the entire Seminole nation.”

Ojo had played professionally in Serbia for the past three seasons since graduating from FSU, where he was named to the ACC academic honor roll after completing a master’s degree in international studies. He started his professional career with FMP Belgrade and then moved to Red Star Belgrade, which played in the EuroLeague last season.

“Not solely did Michael Ojo educate me to be a frontrunner, he taught me the way to love others,” mentioned former FSU participant Terance Mann, who was a second-round decide of the LA Clippers in 2019. “He taught me that there is extra to life than basketball. … He would at all times inform me he has extra mates than simply our teammates. He inspired me to get out of my shell and meet new folks and taught me the way to love FSU for what all of it has to supply.”

Visa issues had prevented Ojo from returning to the United States during the coronavirus pandemic, so he elected to continue living in Belgrade while fielding offers from international teams. He was conducting an individual training session at Partizan Belgrade’s facility when he collapsed.

Ojo’s big break came in 2010 at the Giants of Africa camp, founded by Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri. After taking part in soccer for a lot of his life, Ojo had a late development spurt that noticed him shoot from 6-foot-6 to 7-foot-1 — opening up alternatives to come back to the U.S. to additional his schooling and attempt to receive a school scholarship.

Unpolished as a freshman, Ojo steadily improved to the purpose that he was invited to work out privately for NBA groups following his senior 12 months, when he performed an necessary function defensively for a Florida State staff that went 26-9.

A member of FSU’s teaching workers confirmed to ESPN that Ojo had undergone a battery of bodily testing throughout his time in Tallahassee and that he didn’t present any indicators of coronary heart issues throughout his time in school.

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