Former Florida Gators star linebacker Neiron Ball died Monday at the age of 27 after battling a rare brain condition, ESPN reports.
The agency that represented Ball released the following statement about his death Tuesday:
"We join the Ball family in thanking the numerous supporters of Neiron and his journey to recovery. Neiron was a rare and special spirit with the ability to touch anyone he met. His talent was met with relentless drive, no matter the obstacle... Neiron was a loving and cherished father, brother, and teammate. He will be missed dearly."
Ball suffered a brain aneurysm in December of last year and was placed in a medically induced coma. He was later moved to a nursing facility after being removed from the coma and was being cared for there at the time of his death.
While at Florida, Ball was diagnosed with a rare, congenital condition called an arteriovenous malformation (AVM), in which the brain's blood vessels get tangled and rupture. He underwent emergency surgery after physicians discovered a brain bleed prior to his sophomore year, and he sat out the 2011 season.
Once he resumed playing football, he continued to excel for the Gators and was selected by the Raiders in the fifth round of the 2015 draft. He played six games for the Raiders in 2015 and rose to a starting role before a knee injury derailed his career.