BY JERRY MCDONALD
THE MERCURY NEWS/TNS
Neiron Ball, a former Oakland Raiders linebacker who has been in a coma since December of 2018 as the result of a rare congenital brain condition, has died, the family announced. He was 27.
“We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of Neiron Ball on September 10, 2019 at 4:15 am. 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,” wrote Ball’s sister Natalie Myricks in a Facebook post.
Ball’s passing was noted in a series of tweets by Raiders tackle Trent Brown, a teammate and close friend. The two played together in college at the University of Florida and became even closer when Ball was a Raiders rookie in 2015 and Brown played across the Bay for the 49ers.
STRICKEN IN 2011
Ball was stricken by an arterviouvenous malformation in 2011 while at Florida. It’s a condition which causes blood vessels to tangle and rupture. He recovered to play, and also battled back from a serious knee injury that required microfracture knee surgery to become a fifth-round draft pick by the Raiders.
He played six games in 2015, his rookie year, starting twice and recording a sack against the Cleveland Browns.
Ball also made an impact off the field. In his year with the Raiders, Ball connected with a Pleasanton boy who also suffered an AVM, as well as his family.
Physicians thought Ball’s rare condition had been corrected after a radiation treatment, but he suffered an episode a year ago that left him in a medically induced coma.