Former Florida Gators linebacker Neiron Ball dies at age 27

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Florida Gators football program and loved ones are mourning the loss of linebacker Neiron Ball.

Ball, 27, who had a rare brain condition, died early Tuesday morning, his sister Natalie Ball Myricks announced in a Facebook post addressed to his friends and supporters.

“We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of Neiron Ball on September 10, 2019 at 4:15 am,” the post said. “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.”

Ball played for Florida from 2010 through 2014. Despite being sidelined for the whole 2011 season, he rebounded the following year and saw action in 11 games in 2012, 12 games in 2013 and nine more in 2014 before his final season was cut short by injury.

Selected by the Oakland Raiders in the fifth round of the 2015 NFL Draft, Ball parlayed his college success into a brief professional career before being placed on injured reserve in December 2015. He was later waived by the Raiders organization in September 2016.

In 2011, Ball was diagnosed with arteriovascular malformation. The condition, which affects less than one percent of the population, is characterized by a tangle of blood vessels in the brain that stifles the flow of blood between the brain and heart, according to Mayo Clinic. 

Ball was placed in a medically induced coma after suffering an aneurysm last year, according to an ESPN report, which noted that he was being kept at a nursing facility when he passed away.

“Rest in Peace, Neiron,” the Gators’ football program tweeted Tuesday in response to the news. “You’ll be forever remembered and always missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with your family during this difficult time.”

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