Ross Morkem, a former Lambert basketball standout and promising forward on the University of North Georgia men’s basketball team, died in an automobile accident Monday.
UNG’s athletic department first reported on Wednesday of Morkem’s passing after his car crashed along Highway 400 in Dawson County early Monday morning. He was 19.
UNG Mourns Loss of Men's Basketball Player Ross Morkem https://t.co/BvXKdNIQ7n— UNG Men's Basketball (@UNGMBB) September 20, 2017
Morkem was a 6-foot-7 forward who started on Lambert’s region championship teams in 2015 and 2016. He was named to all-county and all-region teams the same seasons.
“He was an awesome teammate and a brother,” said Andrew Melms, a former Lambert basketball standout and freshman on the Hawai’i Pacific University men’s basketball team.
At UNG, Morkem made an immediate impact as a freshman for the Nighthawks, starting in 27 of 29 games he played while averaging 8.1 points and 4.8 rebounds in 22.3 minutes a game. Off the court, he was a Peach Belt Conference Presidential Scholar.
"Our Nighthawk family suffered a tremendous loss on Monday," UNG head men's basketball coach Chris Faulkner said in a press release from the school. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the Morkem family, friends and his teammates. He represented North Georgia in a first-class manner and was an excellent teammate during his time at UNG. Everyone that came in contact with Ross loved him."
The family will honor Morkem with a public reception this Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Three Chimneys Farm Clubhouse in Cumming. They’ve also asked for donations to be made to the Ross Morkem Scholarship Fund in lieu of flowers.