Former Oakland Raiders linebacker Neiron Ball has passed away on Tuesday morning due to complications resulting from brain arteriovenous malformation (AVM), a condition he was battling for a long time. He was 27 years old.
Ball's sister, Natalie Ball Myricks, announced the news via Facebook. "We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of Neiron Ball on September 10, 2019, at 4:15 am," she wrote, as reported by 247Sports. "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 college football at the University of Florida and the school released the statement via Twitter.
"Rest in Peace, Neiron. You'll be forever remembered and always missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with your family during this difficult time," the school said.
Ball has a Facebook account and many fans sent messages to him.
"The leader, the motivator, the go-getter, one of the strongest people I’ve ever known, the one anyone could look up too," one Facebook user wrote. "You put so much joy into peoples lives. Anytime we spoke it’s was always positive vibes. I remember the last time we talked you were just happy about your daughters and your journey of being a father. This hurts like hell to say R.I.P to you. Prayers to your daughters and your family. This was too soon. Fly high bro. Love you forever. A true legend!"
Ball was selected by the Raiders in the fifth round in the 2015 NFL Draft. Lance Zierlein of NFL.com liked Ball coming out of Florida, but he thought he wouldn't be drafted.0comments
"Versatile linebacker with good play speed and a motor that teams look for," Zierlein wrote at the time. "While Ball's play clearly improved from 2013 to 2014, his physical issues will be tough to overcome by draft day. He overcame losing both of his parents before the age of 10 as well as brain surgery in 2011, so he's no stranger to adversity and perseverance. Ball might have to attempt to beat the odds once again and make a roster via the undrafted-free-agent route."
Due to injuries, Brown only played in six games and he posted five tackles and one sack in Oakland. During his time in Florida, Ball registered 94 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss and three sacks. He grew up in Jackson, Georgia and played high school football at Jackson High School.