Local News

School mourns teen who died during basketball practice

Posted February 10, 2009
Updated March 9, 2009

— Teammates and classmates at Wilson's James Hunt High School on Tuesday mourned the loss of one of their own who collapsed and died during basketball practice Monday afternoon.

Freshman Anthony D. Eatmon, 14, had just finished doing warm-up drills with the school's junior varsity team when he collapsed, Principal Joe Davis said.

Anthony Eatmon Wilson teen dies during basketball practice

A cause of death has not been determined.

"There were no indicators at all," Davis said. "We certainly weren't expecting this kind of thing to happen."

Eatmon, the only freshman on the team, completed a mandatory physical last May, allowing him to play basketball, Davis said. He had no known medical conditions.

Eatmon also played football, athletic director Stevie Hinnant said, and never displayed any health problems or red flags that would have indicated something was wrong.

Hinnant and Davis both said Monday's practice was a light workout. The players were given plenty of water breaks, and the temperature inside the school's gym was not hot.

Grief counselors were on hand at the school Tuesday to help students cope with the loss. Students also paid their respects by writing goodbye messages on a hallway banner.

"Those young men that saw this take place probably witnessed something that, hopefully, they'll never have to witness again," Hinnant said.

Eatmon's parents also met with school officials Tuesday morning, but they declined to comment.

Officials postponed boys and girls JV games scheduled Tuesday evening against Southern Wayne High School.

Last August, Atlas Fraley, a 17-year-old football offensive guard and defensive tackle at Chapel Hill High School, was found unresponsive at home following a football scrimmage the same day. His cause of death hasn't been determined.

In December, a Winston-Salem teenager collapsed during a basketball game and later died.

Khalid Prince, 15, a student at Parkland High School, had an inflammation of the heart muscle that sometimes causes an irregular heartbeat or heart failure, according to the Forsyth County medical examiner.


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  • Garnerwolf1 Feb 11, 2009

    ptahandatum: you are one sick puppy. And so, so, sadly, wrong. Can you not just express your sympathy, or better yet, just keep your trap shut if you dont' have something decent to say? And yes, I'm doing exactly what you did...

  • SimpleGurlNC Feb 10, 2009

    "GOD" don't make mistakes nor does he DRINK. Therefore watch what you say. Prayers go out to family and the one that had a bad choice of words to type. Amen

  • jkca Feb 10, 2009

    That is scary.....we could all be walking time bombs and not even know it. Prayers to the family.

  • Mom2two Feb 10, 2009

    Always sad when this happens. Too oftne a previously unknown heart condition is only discovered post-mortem.

  • news4u Feb 10, 2009

    Prayers for the family and friends.

  • thedezsos1 Feb 10, 2009

    Prayers to the family....RIP young man

  • exxe75 Feb 10, 2009

    ECGs do not always show cardiac abnormalities. As far as having a "heart attack", this young boy dying would probably not be from a typical heart attack due to atherosclerosis or plaque build-up. Often in these cases, some unknown condition, often congenital, causes an arrhythmia, which is a condition in which the electricity in the heart becomes erratic/disorganized and therefore causes the pump to fail. Sometimes the rhythm is ventricular fibrillation, but often it is asystole (flat line). An automated defibrillator would have been helpful (not sure if they had one or not). This is just a tragedy that cannot be blamed on any one person. I pray for the teen's family, his schoolmates, and his teachers. The death of a child/friend/student is never a easy thing to get over.

  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT Feb 10, 2009

    Watch for the coach and school to be named in a lawsuit. Just like the coach in KY being tried for Negligent Homicide.

  • jkrmeme Feb 10, 2009

    ptahandatum - I will also be praying for you. Jesus and the Angels needed another little angel in heaven to look down on you and the rest of us. Be ready cause it could happen in an instant. May God confort the family as only He can.

  • SuperNupe Feb 10, 2009