Former Jackson High Red Devil Neiron Ball, who went on to play for the Florida Gators and Oakland Raiders, has died, his family and agent announced Tuesday. He was 27.
“We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of Neiron Ball on September 10, 2019 at 4:15 a.m.,” his sister, Natalie Ball-Myricks, wrote in a Facebook post. “The Ball family is forever grateful for the prayers, donations and immense support of Neiron and his recovery. Neiron was a very special and loving father, brother and teammate. Neiron has transitioned to a place of peace.”
A 2010 Jackson High School graduate, Ball suffered an aneurysm and was admitted to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta in September 2018, according to a GoFundMe page established by The Sports and Entertainment Group, his representatives, to assist with the cost of his medical bills. While at the University of Florida, he had been diagnosed with a rare congenital condition called arteriovenous malformation, which causes the brain’s blood vessels to get tangled and rupture, the page stated.
Ball had been sidelined at Florida for the entire 2011 season after suffering a ruptured blood vessel, but returned to the field in 2012.
In 2015, the 6-foot, 2-inch, 236-pound Ball was drafted by the Oakland Raiders in the fifth round of the NFL draft.
“We join the Ball family in thanking the numerous supporters of Neiron and his journey to recovery. Neiron was a rare and special spirit with the ability to touch anyone he met,” The Sports and Entertainment Group said in a statement on its website. “His talent was met with relentless drive, no matter the obstacle.
“Neiron was a 5th round NFL Draft pick by the Oakland Raiders in 2015 and a proud former Florida Gator. Neiron was a loving and cherished father, brother and teammate. He will be missed dearly.”