Until experts and mainstream media investigate the dramatic rise in sudden athlete deaths, every tragedy will be beneath a microscope.
Europe has witnessed a catastrophic rise of sudden cardiac events in athletes, but authorities continue turning a blind eye.
The latest saddening death occurred on the hardwood with the passing of 32-year-old Serbian forward Steven Jelovac.
On November 14th, Jelovac collapsed during practice, and later reports confirmed he suffered a stroke.
Jelovac remained in critical condition for around three weeks, and AEK B.C. confirmed his death on Sunday.
Basket News described Jelovac’s condition:
The 32-year-old Serbian forward had strong malaise and fainting tendencies during his team’s training session, where he suffered a stroke from which he never recovered.
Jelovac, as the doctors had emphasized from the first moment, was in critical condition due to a brain hemorrhage, but he didn’t manage to wake up from the coma. Doctors were waiting for him to respond, even tried to resuscitate him twice, to no avail.
His condition remained critical in the next several days until his family decided that he be transferred to his home country Serbia.
There, he was ruled brain dead and his family decided to stop the life support that kept him alive for almost three weeks.
The basketball world mourned Jelovac’s sudden death and offered their condolences.
— Brose Bamberg (@BroseBamberg) December 5, 2021
Serbian forward Stevan Jelovac passed away, his team AEK Athens announced. He had suffered a stroke some weeks ago.
He was 32 years old.
— Eurohoops (@Eurohoopsnet) December 5, 2021
🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼 R.I.P 😢😢😢 https://t.co/hPKS7OMUHx
— Goran Dragić (@Goran_Dragic) December 5, 2021
Huge Sadness for the loss of Stevan Jelovac. My heartfelt condolences to his family and friends. RIP🙏🏻 pic.twitter.com/NzQzp9UIae
— Nikola Mirotic (@NikolaMirotic33) December 5, 2021
Stevan Jelovac! ❤️💙🤍
Svi smo uz tebe! 💪💪💪 pic.twitter.com/t0crzBFJ32
— Košarkaški savez SRB (@KSSrbije) November 25, 2021
We are deeply saddened by the loss of Stevan Jelovac. We would like to express our sincere condolences and our deepest sympathies to his family and friends. pic.twitter.com/4y8h1GmnDa
— Fenerbahçe Beko (@FBBasketbol) December 5, 2021
La acb y todos sus clubes se unen al dolor por el fallecimiento de Stevan Jelovac.
El más sentido pésame a la familia y amigos de un jugador que defendió los colores de @CasademontZGZ y que recordaremos siempre.
Descansa en paz, Stevan. pic.twitter.com/cTyEUqM6Gs
— Liga Endesa (@ACBCOM) December 5, 2021
Tragic news out of Greece as AEK Athens player Stevan Jelovac has died of a stroke that he suffered on November 14. He was only 32.
— John Hobbs (@JohnHobbsTB) December 5, 2021
He was hospitalized in serious condition at Μetropolitan General in Athens. His family had since traveled to the Greek capital attending to the health complications of the recent days. A few days prior, the player was transferred to his home, Serbia.
The Serbian player fainted during individual practice. It was later confirmed he had a stroke.
After the ankle injury forcing him to the sidelines the previous two weeks, he had resumed workouts aiming to return to action.
Over the last ten days, AEK officials stood by his family, while all Greek teams supported him with “Get well soon Stevan” banners held by players to start games of the Stoiximan Basket League.
Before joining the AEK, he played in Turkey, Germany, Russia, Spain, Lithuania, Italy, and Japan after opting to extend his career beyond his home country, Serbia. He went from Mega and Crvena Zvezda to Antalya, Caserta, Rytas, Zaragoza, Nizhny Novgorod, Brose Bamberg, and Gaziantep, and from Europe to Japan and NeoPhoenix.
His career featured 13 appearances in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague, 41 in the 7DAYS EuroCup, 28 in the Basketball Champions League, and 16 in the FIBA Europe Cup. He was also capped at the senior level with Serbia during the 2019 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers.
As a member of AEK, Jelovac averaged 12.6 points, 4.4 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.3 blocks, and 0.7 steals per game over seven games played between the BCL and Greek League.
Below are highlights of Jelovac’s legendary 49-point performance.
There are currently no confirmed reports of the cause of Jelovac’s stroke.