Derek Gray, College Basketball Player, Died While Playing Ball
University of Wisconsin- Whitewater has announced that Derek Gray, a player on the men’s basketball team, died unexpectedly Sunday.
The university’s athletic department posted on Twitter that basketball team guard Derek Gray died unexpectedly on Sunday “playing the game he loved.”
Warhawk Nation mourns the loss of Derek Gray, a student-athlete on the Warhawk men's basketball team, who passed away unexpectedly on July 24th, 2022, playing the game he loved. pic.twitter.com/gHkyMr23NP
— Warhawk Athletics (@UWWAthletics) July 26, 2022
Further details about his death were not immediately available.
Gray was the Warhawks’ leading scorer during the 2021-22 season, averaging 17.8 points per game, and graduated from La Follette High School in Madison.
Our program is devastated by the loss of Derek Gray. Derek was beloved and respected by his teammates at a level few in our program have ever achieved. He’s left a legacy that will be remembered and emulated by players for generations to come. https://t.co/fzQE2Q4o6b
— UWW Men's Basketball (@UWWMensHoops) July 26, 2022
Gray’s official UW-W bio said he was majoring in criminology.
Date of death: July 24, 2022
As of September 2021, 70 percent of UW-Whitewater students had had COVID injections. Students at UW-Whitewater were eligible for a drawing of 70 scholarships at $7,000 each if vaccinated against COVID-19.
UPDATE: On July 27, WKOW reported more details about Derek Gray’s death.
The coach of standout UW-Whitewater basketball player Derek Gray told 27 News the player’s sudden death took place at a basketball camp on campus and was cardiac-related.
“It was a cardiac event,” UW-Whitewater Men’s Basketball Coach Pat Miller told 27 News. “He had a blockage.“
Miller said more than 100 children ages 10 through 17 were attending the camp Sunday and being treated to pizza courtside as Gray, other players, counselors and coaches played on the court.
“He was not labored, there was nothing we saw,” Miller said of the 20-year-old Gray.
Miller told 27 News when Gray collapsed, he thought the player experienced a seizure. Miller said emergency responders arrived quickly and campers were escorted out of the facility without becoming aware of the player’s worsening condition.
“It was just a very surreal situation where you’re thinking, ‘Okay, he’s going to be all right,’ and then you’re very scared and the longer it went on, it became apparent that this was extraordinarily serious,” Miller told 27 News.