Local News

School mourns teen who died during basketball practice

Posted February 10, 2009 10:10 a.m. EST
Updated March 9, 2009 5:12 p.m. EDT

— 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.



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.