Pistons pay tribute to Upshaw with honorary call-up

Rod Beard
The Detroit News
Zeke Upshaw, who played for the Grand Rapids Drive, died on Monday morning.

Before Thursday’s game against the Washington Wizards, the Pistons honored Zeke Upshaw, the Grand Rapids Drive wing who collapsed during Saturday’s game in the development league and died on Monday.

The team announced that it was memorializing Upshaw’s career by doing an honorary call-up for Upshaw to the Pistons.

“Zeke was a special player for the Grand Rapids Drive and as the G-League affiliate of our organization, many of our staffers had the opportunity to spend time with this terrific young man,” Pistons general manager Jeff Bower said in a team statement. “His spirit and commitment on and off the court embodied all the traits we look for in players who suit up for the Detroit Pistons.

“As we look to memorialize Zeke’s basketball career and continue to support his family during this tragically difficult time, executing an honorary call-up recognizes his standing as a member of the Pistons family.”

Griffin out

Blake Griffin was a late scratch for Thursday’s game because of a right-ankle contusion. It’s unclear when he sustained the injury and the severity, but following Thursday’s game the Pistons have a pair of weekend games in New York against the Knicks and Nets.

Anthony Tolliver got his seventh start of the season, replacing Griffin.

Twitter: @detnewsRodBeard