College basketball player from metro Atlanta killed in crash

A college basketball player from metro Atlanta was killed early Monday when his car crashed on Ga. 400 in Dawson County, officials at the University of North Georgia said.

Ross Morkem, a 2015 graduate of Lambert High School in Forsyth County, was a sophomore at North Georgia, the university said in a statement. He was 19 years old.

There were no other cars involved in the crash, and no passengers in Morkem’s 2010 Ford Mustang, the Georgia State Patrol said in a statement emailed to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

“Our Nighthawk family suffered a tremendous loss on Monday,” North Georgia head men’s basketball coach Chris Faulkner said in the statement. “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.”

The crash happened about 1:10 a.m., the GSP said.

Morkem’s car was heading south when it traveled off the west shoulder, according to the GSP. The car went along the shoulder for more than 200 feet and hit a utility pole. It came to an uncontrolled rest on the west shoulder facing south.

Morkem started 27 games last season, averaging 8.1 points and 4.8 rebounds.

Morkem’s family will have a public reception from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Three Chimneys Farm Clubhouse in Cumming, the university said.

In lieu of flowers, his family asked that donations be made online to the Ross Morkem Scholarship Fund.

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