Local News

Heart failure caused death of Gaston student

Posted March 9, 2011
Updated March 10, 2011

— A teen who collapsed suddenly while playing basketball at a Littleton church Monday night died of heart failure, a school administrator said Wednesday. 

Javaris Dashawn Brinkley, of Henrico, collapsed during a pick-up basketball game in the Lake Gaston Baptist Church recreational league and later died at Halifax Regional Medical Center in Roanoke Rapid.

Brinkley was a student at KIPP Gaston College Preparatory and was "loved and respected deeply by his classmates and our staff," Principal Tammi Sutton said in a statement.

Brinkley's family remembered him as a youth leader at Patillo Chapel Baptist Church, an academically gift student and basketball player at school, and a worker at Little Ceasar's Pizza in Roanoke Rapids.

"Javaris was his father’s heart, and they spent so many days having father-son talks, working on cars, and hosting neighborhood cookouts," his obituary states. "His mom will mostly miss the hundreds of weekly outings they shared in celebration of family togetherness and life."

Brinkley is survived by his parents, Anjoylus and Maggie Brinkley, two sisters, brother, maternal grandmother, and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, friends and co-workers.

A wake will be held Thursday at 7 p.m. at Patillo Chapel Baptist Church, 3119 River Road in Henrico. A funeral service will be conducted Friday at 2 p.m. at KIPP Gaston's gymnasium, followed by a burial in the Patillo Church cemetery.

Robinson Funeral Home in Littleton was handling the arrangements.


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  • ttc248 Mar 10, 2011

    My prayers are forthis young man's family. I have a grandson who plays football. He has had examination by pediatric cardiologist which was recommended by his pediatrician. The one thing the cardiologist stressed to us is that my grandson must keep himself hydrated and eat properly consistenty. God bless you family.

  • wakeconative4ever Mar 10, 2011

    A complete cardiac work-up should be required for all students who play sports. EKG, Echocardiogram, cardiac enzymes blood test, at the very least. All of these take very little time but may save a life. The echocardiogram would show an enlarged heart.

  • pedsRN Mar 10, 2011

    So sad. I lost a co-worker 20 years ago who died in his sleep at age 28. His autopsy showed an enlarged heart. He had no history of heart problems.
    In 1995, 2-time Olympic gold medalist Sergei Grinkov died on the practice rink with heart disease at age 28, leaving behind his 24 year old wife & 3 year old daughter. Reportedly he had had a recent physical that didn't detect any problems.
    Do they perform EKG's during sports physicals or is it just listening to the heart with a stethoscope??

  • knockitoff Mar 10, 2011

    playing sports in HS = SPORTS PHYSICALS
    WHY are these kids PASSING the physicals if there are this many problems???????

  • Outforjustice Mar 10, 2011

    My heart goes out to the family of this young man. Sounds like he was an awesome person and will definitely be missed. I can't imagine the loss that his parents must be feeling right now. God bless all who knew and loved this young man.

  • MDL33 Mar 10, 2011

    My heart goes out to the family.

    I wonder if their is any connection to these teens passing and energy drinks?

  • Skywatch_NC Mar 10, 2011

    What a wonderful young man and prayers and thoughts go with his family and friends. RIP Javaris :(

    I have a friend from Roanoke Rapids who knows Javaris' mother and she who works with special needs residents.

  • changein2016please! Mar 10, 2011

    So sad. This is the second high school basketball player in a week or two to die after playing. I am sorry for his family.

  • NC Reader Mar 10, 2011

    Sounds like he was a really fine person. What a tragedy.

  • frankbad15 Mar 10, 2011

    This is so sad, it seems that its hard to detect curtain heart problems.