sports 6 days ago

Former Florida, Raiders linebacker Neiron Ball dies after long battle with rare brain condition

Sporting News — (Thomas Lott)

Former Florida and Raiders linebacker Neiron Ball died Tuesday after a long battle with brain arteriovenous malformation (AVM), his sister announced. He was 27.

Ball first suffered a flare-up of his condition in 2011 at Gator spring camp and battled the condition for the last several years.

It was reported in 2018 that Ball was hospitalized after suffering an aneurysm and was put into a medically induced coma.

A plea from his sister to help move him to a better medical facility went viral and a GoFundMe account raised $140,000 to help with his situation.

His sister announced his death Tuesday in a post on Facebook.

"We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of Neiron Ball on September 10, 2019 at 4:15 am," the post read. "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's condition is usually present at birth but can become present later in life. The arteries and veins in an AVM can rupture, causing bleeding into the brain or spinal cord.

It is known to affect just 1 percent of the general population. Fewer than 200,000 cases are found the United States every year.

Ball was a four-star linebacker coming out of Jackson, Georgia, in 2010, according to 247sports.

He recorded 94 tackles in four years, including five sacks and an interception with the Gators.

Ball was then drafted in the fifth round (161st overall) by the Raiders in 2015. He played one season for Oakland and recorded five tackles including one sack in six games (two starts).