High school basketball player dies after collapsing at school

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) -- Thursday was a somber day at Dunbar High School in Lexington, Kentucky. The students, faculty and staff there are dealing with the loss of a student.

Fayette County school leaders say 15-year-old Star Ifeacho was participating in an open gym at Dunbar, where any student is allowed to come and participate in drills and two-on-two games. They say Star had stopped shooting baskets, and was with the athletic trainer when he passed out in the locker room.

School leaders say the trainer immediately provided emergency care, including CPR and the use of the AED. Paramedics were called and took Star to the hospital, but he later died.

"I don't know if fear is as much what they are dealing with as much as just the shock is what it is," said Coach Scott Chalk. "Especially those kids that were actually in the gym. It is a difficult thing for an adult to witness, especially for somebody age 15-17 you're not really equipped for that, so..."

Chalk coached Ifeacho on the Dunbar High basketball team. Coach Chalk said the sophomore loved being in the gym, working hard to improve his game. School officials said he was very well-liked among his peers and teachers.

Leaders had grief counselors, as well as a therapy dog, at Dunbar on Thursday to support students and staff. On Thursday morning, more than 200 students had already met with those counselors. The school also held a moment of silence at the start of the day in Ifeacho's honor.

The basketball coach says the team was going to hold a banquet on Monday night; that event will now be a vigil for Ifeacho.

In a statement released late Wednesday night, KHSAA Commissioner
Julian Tackett said, "The absolute worst part of my job is getting a call like I received Wednesday night with the sudden loss of this young man. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Ifeacho family, the Paul Laurence Dunbar and Fayette County school community, and all of those who valiantly tried to save this young man following his incident. We recognize the fragile nature of life itself and wish peace on all who knew this fine young man during this difficult time."

Read the original version of this article at wkyt.com.

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