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21-year-old Mercer student-athlete dies from cardiac arrest during soccer game in Macon

According to Bibb County Coroner Leon Jones, Baba Agbaje was playing at the intramural fields when he collapsed and went into cardiac arrest.

MACON, Ga. — 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.

Agbaje was from Peachtree City. His family has been notified. An autopsy will be performed. 

Mercer President William D. Underwood released a statement about Agbaje's passing.

“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,” said Mercer President William D. Underwood.  "Words cannot convey the extent of our sadness over Baba’s passing.”

Agbaje was a former member of the Mercer men’s soccer team who completed his eligibility last fall.  

Mercer Athletics released a statement about his passing on Monday night.

 "Baba has been a valued member of the Mercer student-athlete community over the last four years," said Athletic Director Jim Cole. "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 said their heart goes out to his family and loved ones.

“We’re heartbroken over Baba’s passing," Ruzzo said. “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 joined the men's soccer team in 2019 with his brother, Salam. Baba was named to the Southern Conference Academic Honor Roll in the 2020-21 and 2021-22 seasons.

He was a standout in high school, leading McIntosh to a state title in 2017 and 2019. He was named the 2019 Fayette County Boy's Co-Player of the Year. 

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