James Hampton, a Class of 2019 basketball prospect who attended high school in Charlotte, collapsed and died on the court during a game Saturday night while playing for Team United in a Nike Elite Youth Basketball League event in Virginia.
He was 17 years old.
"It's hard to even explain," Team United director Jacoby Davis told The Charlotte Observer late Saturday. "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."
Hampton collapsed during the second half of a game against a Phoenix-based team run by Marvin Bagley Jr., the father of former Duke star and future lottery pick Marvin Bagley III. According to Davis, Hampton was running and looking at an official when he said "Hey ref," and then fell.
"He just fell down on the floor," Davis said. "He had seizures a year ago -- and I remember [one of the Team United coaches] telling me that, 'I saw his eyes rolling back in his head.' I ran on the court thinking he was having a seizure. A trainer came over and said he didn't know what was wrong. Another trainer checked his pulse. He said he didn't have a pulse. It got crazy after that."
Team United is expected to play as scheduled Sunday.
"[The players] want to play," 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."