A tragedy struck for a family from North Carolina. A 17-year-old basketball player passed away after collapsing during a game.
James Hampton, a top high school basketball player, was playing for Team United, an elite team from Charlotte, North Carolina. He was competing in the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League game in Hampton, Virginia, reported People.
On Saturday, Hampton ran up to the referee and said, “Hey, ref” before collapsing. Team United’s director, Jacoby Davis, told The Charlotte Observer.
“He just fell down on the floor,” Davis told the newspaper. “He had seizures a year ago — and I remember [one of the Team United coaches] telling me that, ‘I saw his eyes rolling back in his head.’ I ran on the court thinking he was having a seizure. A trainer came over and said he didn’t know what was wrong. Another trainer checked his pulse. He said he didn’t have a pulse. It got crazy after that.”
Medical responders present at the game ran onto the court to give Hampton chest compressions. He was then taken by ambulance to a nearby hospital. Sadly, he was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Since the team was traveling, his parents were not present when he died. It was a terrible situation for the team and the parents.
“It’s hard to even explain,” Davis said. “To have a kid in your program with so much life — that’s just the kind of kid he was. He was always happy. For something like this to happen, I can’t even explain it. And to have to talk to a parent not even in town and tell him that his son has died, well, that’s more devastating.”
After deliberating, the team decided that Hampton would have wanted them to stay and play the rest of the tournament. They did so in his honor. They decisively won their game on Sunday.
According to Chris Carrawell, Duke University’s assistant coach and father to Caleb Stone-Carrawell, one of Hampton’s teammates, it was a difficult weekend for the group.
“You could tell at the beginning, they were probably a little emotional, in shock, so to speak,” Carrawell told the Daily Press. “Which is, wow, you’re 16, 17-years-old, and you go through what you saw on the court less than 24 hours ago. For them to shake it off and respond and come away with a big win: You can already tell, [James] is … looking out for them.”
Please pray for the family and the team as they deal with the loss of this young man.