Nigerian basketball player Michael Ojo died of a heart attack during an individual training session in the Serbian capital on Friday, his former club Red Star Belgrade said in a statement on its official website (www.kkcrvenazvezda.rs).
“It is with great sadness we hereby inform the public that our former centre Michael Ojo passed away at the age of 27,” Red Star said.
“His sudden death has shocked the club’s players, staff and management alike, as he won three trophies with Red Star and parted company with the club amicably on June 30.”
Ojo played college basketball at Florida State and started his professional career at FMP Belgrade in 2017 before he joined Red Star the following year.
He won the 2019 Adriatic (ABA) League title, a competition incorporating clubs from the former Yugoslavia, as well as the Serbian league title the same year.
Ojo, born in Lagos and a product of the Tennessee Temple high school, also clinched the ABA League Supercup in 2018.
ABA League commissioner Dubravko Kmetovic said the organisation was “shocked and deeply saddened by the sudden death of Michael Ojo.”
“Ojo left this world too early, but he left an indelible mark on the basketball community.
“We will remember him as a champion, as a great fighter, a respected team mate and as a respected opponent. During three seasons we had the privilege of enjoying his talent, smile and energy.”