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High school basketball star collapses, dies after open gym session

Star Ifeacho, pictured right, died after collapsing during an open gym session on Wednesday.

(GoFundMe)

A Kentucky high school sophomore was wrapping up an open gym session with his basketball teammates on Wednesday when he collapsed in the locker room and later died in a nearby hospital. Star Ifeacho, 15, was working with teammates in drills and two-on-two games with coaches and an athletic trainer is present, The Lexington Herald reported.

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“Star stopped shooting baskets and was the athletic trainer when he collapsed in the dressing room,” Manny Caulk, Fayette schools superintendent, said in a press release. “The athletic trainer immediately provided emergency care, including CPR and the use of the AED (automatic external defibrillator), while 911 was called. When paramedics arrived, they took over his care and transported him to the hospital.”

Ifeacho died at the University of Kentucky Hospital later in the evening, but officials have not released a cause of death, the news outlet reported. Caulk said counselors were students and staff of Paul Laurence Dunbar, where Ifeacho attended classes.

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“The absolute worst part of my job is getting a call, as I was Wednesday night with the sudden loss of this young man,” Julian Tackett, Kentucky High School Athletic Association commissioner, told The Lexington Herald. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, the Paul Laurence Dunbar and Fayette County school of the community, and all those who tried valiantly to save this young man after his incident.”

Teammates and friends took to social media to express their sympathy and love for Ifeacho, who was a shooting guard on Dunbar’s team and the average of 6.8 points and 5.9 rebounds per game. The Lexington Herald reported that he would have been the team’s second-leading returning scorer for the 2017-18 season.

A post on a GoFundMe page set up on behalf of the family described him as a “gentleman, student and athlete.”

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“Please help his mother, the Peace, and his brother, Sam, with the costs of his burial and the funeral,” the page said. “No mother should ever have to bury her child, and if we can help relieve the stress of the cost, that we have to do. RIP Star. You were a shining light in our lives and that will continue to shine in our hearts and thoughts.”

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