Jewel Upshaw, the mother of a G League basketball player who died in March after suffering a cardiac arrest on court, has filed a lawsuit alleging that the NBA and the Detroit Pistons were negligent in her son’s death.
Zeke Upshaw, a 26-year-old guard for the Grand Rapids Drive, the Piston’s minor-league affiliate, collapsed during a Drive home game Mar. 26 and died two days later. According to NBC Sports, the suit, which along with the NBA and the Detroit Pistons also names the The DeltaPlex Arena and the SSJ Group (the Grand Rapids Drive’s arena and its ownership group), contends that medical personnel at the game failed to attempt lifesaving measures in a timely fashion, and that Upshaw’s death was “wholly preventable.”
The suit further claims that the Drive’s team doctor told Upshaw’s mother that he he “had stepped out before the end of the basketball game and was not present nor available when Zeke collapsed.” The lawsuit also accuses the NBA of not preparing adequately enough and protecting its players from sudden cardiac death.
Attorneys representing Jewel Upshaw released this statement Wednesday:
“Attorneys Crump and Hilliard and plaintiff Jewel Upshaw, Zeke’s mother, will announce a wrongful death lawsuit that will be filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District Of New York. In the final minute of a game on March 24, Zeke Upshaw crumpled face-down on the court in full cardiac arrest. Despite this undeniable dire situation, no life-saving measures were attempted, no CPR was initiated and no defibrillator was used.”