It's a sad day for the Florida State family, as we've learned that former men's basketball player Michael Ojo has died of a heart attack. He was just 27 years old.
According to eurohoops.net, Ojo was practicing in Serbia, where he played, and collapsed while running. He was not thought to have any health conditions, including any heart issues, but medical personnel were unable to resuscitate him.
A fan favorite in Tallahassee, Ojo began his career with the Seminoles during the 2012-2013 season. An imposing presence at 7'1, 292, the Nigerian national was a definite first-off-the-bus kind of athlete, but he had to work himself into the professional player he became. And he did just that.
In every one of his four seasons with the 'Noles, Ojo started more games than the previous year. His field goal percentage improved from 29.2% as a freshman to 56.4% as a senior, and many fans will remember how hard Ojo worked at the free-throw line. In his first year at FSU, he hit 36.4% from the charity stripe; in his final campaign, that number was 80.6%
Ojo was always recognizable for his size, but the dimensions of his character exceeded even that of his impressive frame. He'll be remembered as much, if not more, for his warming smile than for his thunderous dunks.
I had the privilege of covering Ojo during his collegiate career, and across all sports, he's one of the kindest, most accommodating student-athletes I ever encountered. May he rest in peace.