A college soccer star at Macon, GA’s Mercer University recently passed away after collapsing on the field while playing an intercollegiate game of the sport he loved. That student-athlete was named Abdul Rasheed Babatunde Agbaje, just 21 years of age.
WMAZ, reporting on the frightening and tragic incident, noted that he collapsed on the field and was quickly taken to the hospital, but was pronounced dead there. In that outlet’s words:
A 21-year-old Mercer University student-athlete is dead after collapsing during a pick-up soccer game Monday night.
According to Bibb County Coroner Leon Jones, Abdul Rasheed Babatunde Agbaje was playing at the intramural fields when he collapsed and went into cardiac arrest.
He was taken to Atrium Health Navicent, the Medical Center where he was pronounced dead at 7:48 p.m.
Mercer President William D. Underwood released a statement about Agbaje’s passing, saying, “Our hearts go out to the Agbaje family on their tragic loss and ask the Mercer family to keep them in their thoughts and prayers. Words cannot convey the extent of our sadness over Baba’s passing.”
Mercer Athletics released a statement about his passing on Monday night as well, with Athletic Director Jim Cole saying, “Baba has been a valued member of the Mercer student-athlete community over the last four years. His coaches and teammates are obviously hurting, and we are focused on providing support to the family and to the team. The entire Mercer family is in mourning tonight. This hurts, but we will lean on each other in the coming days.”
Mercer soccer head coach Brad Ruzzo released a statement on the matter as well, saying, “We’re heartbroken over Baba’s passing. He was an incredible person, who embodied what it means to be a Mercer Bear. Everyone who knew Baba loved him and he was a blessing to coach. He will be greatly missed.”
Baba, who completed his eligibility last year, joined the men’s soccer team in 2019 with his brother, Salam. Baba was then named to the Southern Conference Academic Honor Roll in both the 2020-21 and 2021-22 seasons.
In high school, he was a star player as well. Mcintosh won a state title in 2017 and 2019 while he was on the team and he was named the 2019 Fayette County Boy’s Co-Player of the Year.
Mercer Mourns the Passing of Men's Soccer Student-Athlete Baba Agbaje
— Mercer Men's Soccer (@Mercer_MSoccer) April 11, 2023
Commenting on the above Mercer tweet, people said things like:
“Did not know the young man but he left a legacy here at McIntosh. My prayers to his family , teammates at Mercer and McIntosh and his coaches former and current.”
“We are heartbroken and praying for strength with his family during this time.”
“Why aren’t these universities required to do testing of a person’s heart if they’re going to insert themselves like this? It’s not natural for a young person this young to die of a heart attack. Perhaps if someone knew his issues it could have been prevented.”
"*" indicates required fields