A player for a North Carolina youth basketball team collapsed on the court at a tournament in Virginia and died.
James Hampton played for Team United out of Charlotte, North Carolina, and was at the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League event in Hampton, Virginia.
Team United director Jacoby Davis told The Charlotte Observer that Hampton, who suffered seizures in the past, was running and turned to say something to a referee Saturday night when he collapsed in the second half.
Davis says paramedics did chest compressions on the court before Hampton was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
“It’s hard to even explain,” Davis told the newspaper. “To have a kid in your program with so much life — that’s just the kind of kid he was. He was always happy. For something like this to happen, I can’t even explain it. And to have to talk to a parent not even in town and tell him that his son has died, well, that’s more devastating.”
Team United was playing against Nike Phamily, a team run by Marvin Bagley Jr., the father of Marvin Bagley III. The team released a statement.
Deepest condolences for the young man and his family. No words… 😪
— Nike Phamily EYBL™ (@PhxPhamily) May 27, 2018
Scottie Pippen, whose son was playing in the tournament for another team, was at the event and also expressed his sorrow on social media.
Emotional day at Nike EYBL in Virginia after the passing of James Hampton. My thoughts go out to the young man’s family, friends and teammates. RIP, James. 🙏🏿 pic.twitter.com/E2fhTIHCqA
— Scottie Pippen (@ScottiePippen) May 27, 2018
The 17-year-old went to private Liberty Heights school in Charlotte and was scheduled to graduate high school next year.
Davis said that Hampton’s team will finish the tournament Sunday, to honor their teammate.
“They want to play Sunday,” Davis said. “They really want to finish it up. The coaches are just torn up right now, so it’s going to be tough, but it’s what the kids want to do.”
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.