An Illinois community is mourning the loss of a 14-year-old high-school freshman who collapsed and died during a girls’ basketball game.
Amari Crite, a student at Momence High School, was participating in a junior-varsity game against Tri-Point on Thursday when she collapsed on the court, the Daily Journal reported.
The Kankakee County Coroner’s Office said the cause of death remains under investigation.
Shannon Anderson, superintendent of the school district in Momence south of Chicago, released a statement Friday morning about the tragedy.
“We are deeply saddened to confirm the heartbreaking news of the passing of one of our 9th-grade students,” Anderson wrote. “Our thoughts and condolences go out to the family and friends affected by this tragic loss.”
He said mental-health counselors would be made available “to assist those who may be grappling with the emotional impact of this tragedy.
“We are deeply thankful to neighboring Districts and the mental health and grief counseling providers in the Kankakee County area that have volunteered their services to assist our community during this time,” Anderson wrote.
“Our primary focus right now is on supporting one another and providing the necessary resources for our community to cope with this loss,” he added.
The local sheriff’s office also shared its condolences.
“The Kankakee County Sheriff’s Office stands with the Momence School District during this difficult time. Friends, family and classmates are all in our prayers,” the sheriff’s office wrote on Facebook.
A GoFundMe page created by Amari’s family raised more than $47,000 as of Monday morning.
“As some if not all of you may know our precious baby girl passed away last night January 25 when she collapsed at her basketball game,” the loved ones wrote. “We are asking for any and everyone to help us give her the proper home going she deserves.”
One of the people who donated money wrote: “As a former coach, who had a player collapse on the court (luckily she recovered just fine), I will never forget the fear instilled in me from that unforgettable moment & neither will the other players.
“Watching a player leave in an ambulance, or worse a hearse, can’t be unseen. My family & I are praying for her family, coach, teammates, & school districts,” the contributor added.
Read the full article here