North Carolina A&T volleyball player Fatimah Shabazz died of complications from an aneurism on Sunday, the school’s athletic department announced Tuesday.
“We are heartbroken by Fatimah’s passing,” Aggies coach Hal Clifton said in a statement. “Nothing prepares you for moments like this. Fatimah was an amazing person once you got to know her. She was a fierce competitor on the court but a very sweet person off the court.
“The passing of Fatimah is a great loss to us all and will leave a hole in our hearts. She will never be forgotten and will be missed dearly. I ask that you please continue to hold Fatimah, her mom and all of her family in your hearts, thoughts and prayers during this time of need.”
A 6-foot redshirt senior from Cincinnati, Shabazz was born on Sept. 19, 1999. She developed into one of the best players in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference and became a part of one of the most successful classes in school history, coming in with two-time MEAC player of the Year Edie Brewer and three-time, first-team All-MEAC selection Courteney Pitt.
Shabazz led the MEAC in kills per set (3.69), ranked fifth in the league in hitting percentage (.336) and ninth in blocks per set (0.64) during the 2020 season played last spring, helping the Aggies to their first-ever conference tournament championship and NCAA Tournament bid.
She ranked third on the team with 204 kills during the recently completed 2021 season, in which A&T went 20-10 in its first season as a member of the Big South Conference.