Broncos Running Back Damien Nash Dies At Age 24

DENVER (AP) - Broncos running back Damien Nash collapsed and
died after a charity basketball game in suburban St. Louis on
Saturday, less than two months after the slaying of teammate
Darrent Williams.

"We have been informed of the passing of Damien Nash," team
spokesman Jim Saccomano said Saturday night. "We are attempting to
get more details. ... We do know it's true."

Officials at Christian Hospital in St. Louis said the
24-year-old Nash died early Saturday evening. The cause of death
wasn't immediately determined.

Nash collapsed shortly after participating in the game
benefiting a foundation named for older brother Darris Nash. The
foundation raises money for heart transplant research. It was
established last month, after Darris Nash, 25, received a heart
transplant.

Former Missouri receiver Sean Coffey was at the event with Nash
at Riverview Gardens High School and told the St. Louis
Post-Dispatch there was no indication anything was wrong.
"Everything was normal. ... We were playing around at the game.
... He was fine," Coffey told the newspaper. "I give my best to
his family.

This is crazy. I can't believe this is happening. It
was the first time I had seen him in a couple of years. I can't
believe he's gone. I'm so happy I got to see him one last time."

Nash was from East St. Louis, Ill., and played two years at
Missouri after playing at Coffeyville Community College in Kansas.
Lee Baker, who was teammates with Nash at Coffeyville, was
supposed to have dinner with Nash after the basketball game. One of
Baker's friends received a call that Nash had collapsed a short
time after leaving the event.

"We still don't know what happened. He looked in great shape.
He had four 3-pointers. He had a big smile on his face. There was
no indication," Baker told The Associated Press. "He was a great
guy. It's hard to believe. I want to think I'm dreaming. I was
looking at him today, and thinking how proud I was of him. I was so
happy for him."

One of Baker's final memories of Nash was of him holding his
infant daughter after the game.
"I feel fortunate to have met him," Baker said. "At the game,
you saw the looks on people's faces and how much they appreciated
him."

A fifth-round draft choice by Tennessee in 2005, Nash played in
three games for the Titans. The Broncos signed him as a free agent
last season and he played in three games, rushing for 66 yards on
18 carries. In his two-year career, he had 24 carries for 98 yards
and seven receptions for 55 yards.

"The Denver Broncos organization is once again struck with
profound sadness over the tragic loss of one of our players," team
owner Pat Bowlen said in a statement. "This is a tremendous
tragedy and our hearts go out to the entire Nash family."
The Broncos are still reeling from the slaying of Williams, who
was shot once in the neck while leaving a New Year's Eve party in
his rented stretch Hummer in downtown Denver hours after the season
ended. His slaying remains unsolved.

"The Broncos family has suffered a great loss with the passing
of Damien Nash," coach Mike Shanahan said from Indianapolis, where
he was attending the NFL's scouting combine along with general
manager Ted Sundquist. "I am stunned and deeply saddened by this
tragedy, and send my deepest condolences to Damien's family."
Nash's death came two days after former NBA great Dennis Johnson
collapsed and died after his developmental team's practice in
Austin, Texas. Johnson was 52.
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