North Greenville University mourns death of baseball player

A North Greenville University baseball player’s death in his off-campus apartment came about from natural causes, according to the initial indications of an ongoing investigation.

Davis Heller, a 6’8” first baseman, died Oct. 5.

“Our baseball program is heartbroken over the loss of an amazing human being and brother in Christ,” NGU coach Landon Powell said in a statement. “Davis was a positive force everywhere he went. A gentle giant who greeted everyone with a smile and constantly uplifted those around him. An example of what a great teammate should be, Davis has left a lasting legacy on this program. A great competitor, but even better friend to those who got to know him.”

The 22-year-old Heller, a native of Gilbert, Ariz., joined the defending Division II national champion Crusaders after spending the 2021 and 2022 seasons with the University of Alabama.

His 2021 season was cut short with an injury. In 2022, he played in eight games, starting two, while accumulating 10 plate appearances that brought a .200 batting average, one run and one RBI. Heller was named to the SEC spring academic honor roll both seasons.

Alabama’s baseball team offered its condolences on Twitter.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the Heller family,” the post read. “Davis was loved by everyone and a friend to all. He will be missed.”

Heller was majoring in Strategic Communication. An announcement from NGU asked for prayer for his parents, three sisters, extended family and friends.

— Scott Barkley is national correspondent for Baptist Press.