Sports Outside the Beltway

Samford University basketball player Jim Griffin dead at 23

He is believed to have an unknown heart condition. Until a year ago, I would have wondered how a person wouldn’t have warning signs of heart problems. That changed when I was hospitalized on July 30th. I had a bicuspid heart valve and an ascending aortic aneurysm and almost no symptoms from either condition. RIP Jim Griffin.

Griffin, 23, was found dead Tuesday morning in his residence hall, according to coach Jimmy Tillette. Tillette said the senior from Chicago apparently died from an undetectable heart condition.Jim Griffin

“It’s a cruel twist of fate,” Tillette said, according to the Birmingham News. “Jim was a guy who was known for playing with his heart, and for him to possibly pass away from a heart malady is hard to take.”

The Jefferson County coroner’s office has not released a cause of death, but an autopsy was scheduled for Wednesday.

Samford spokesman Philip Poole said Griffin apparently died in his sleep. He had played in a pickup basketball game and lifted weights Monday night.

Tillette said Griffin had not had a previous medical condition.

“It’s devastating for our team right now,” Tillette said, according to the Birmingham News. “He was a sixth man, but he was everybody’s favorite guy. He was probably our least athletic guy but got the most out of it.”

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