Fayette County

Mercer soccer player from Fayette County dies after collapsing during pick-up game

MACON, Ga. — The Mercer men’s soccer team is mourning the loss of a player from metro Atlanta who died Monday.

Baba Agbaje died after he collapsed and went into cardiac arrest during a pick-up game, Bibb County coroner confirmed to Channel 2′s ABC affiliate WGXA-TV.

The athletic program confirmed the 21-year-old’s death in a statement on Monday night.

“We’re heartbroken over Baba’s passing, and our hearts go out to his family and loved ones,” men’s soccer head coach Brad 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.”

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Agbaje attended McIntosh High School in Peachtree City and led the school to the 2017 and 2019 GHSA 5A State Championships. The Fayette County News named him the 2019 Fayette County Boy’s Co-Player of the Year.

He joined the Mercer men’s soccer program with his brother, Salam, in the 2019 season. He made four starts in 18 appearances for the team during his career.


Agbaje was named to the 2020-21 and 2021-22 Southern Conference Academic Honor Roll, according to the university.

“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.”

The university said counseling services will be available for students.

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