Tragedy has hit the community at Pinson Valley High School in the suburbs of Birmingham, Alabama after a senior basketball player died suddenly during practice with his team.
According to the Jefferson County Coroner, 17-year-old Caleb White collapsed while working out, and emergency personnel were called to his aid. He was rushed to the hospital where he was pronounced dead less than an hour later. As of now, the cause is unknown, but an autopsy will be performed.
As news of White’s medical emergency and death began to spread to parents and faculty, Pinson Valley High School principle Michael Turner released a statement assuring everyone concerned that immediate action was taken to alert emergency personnel that White was suffering from a medical emergency.
“Please know counseling resources will be available for anyone who needs them in coming days,” Turner concluded in a message sent to parents directly following the announcement of White’s passing.
“Please keep the student’s family and our school in your prayers.”
Prior to his tragic and unexpected passing, White was already known as a fierce competitor and highly-ranked player throughout Alabama. Ranked No. 3 in the state and in the top fifty nationwide, several colleges and universities were attempting to recruit him, but he did not make a commitment prior to his death.
Needless to say, friends, family, and loved ones have been utterly devastated by his unexpected passing.
“Today was just heartbreaking,” said Arnold Thomas, a close friend of White. “I can’t even put words together for it.”
“Out thoughts and prayers go out to Caleb White, his family, and the @PinsonValley Community” posted the rival Mountain Brook High School basketball team on the social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter. “Phenomenal player but more importantly a great person that’s gone [too] soon.”
White’s grandfather also posted a heartbreaking note on his Facebook page, expressing his immense grief.
“24 hours ago, my grandson, Caleb White collapsed on the basketball court, went into cardiac arrest and all attempts to resuscitate him failed,” posted grandfather George Varnadoe Jr. “This was similar to the illness LaBron James son experienced as he was working out.
“Our family is overwhelmed by the outpouring of support but still in disbelief. Our whole family was really looking forward to his upcoming senior season and afterwards, playing for a D-1 school and then perhaps the NBA. But… It wasn’t meant to be. You see, everything that happens, happens on time, because God wouldn’t allow it to happen, if it wasn’t on time. And so it was with Caleb. We all have an appointment with God, one that you can’t reschedule.
“So we must stay ready, because you won’t have time to get ready. Please continue to pray for my family.”