Top-ranked Alabama high school basketball player dies suddenly during workout

"He collapsed on the floor, they tried resuscitating him. At 17, he was dead!!!!"


On Thursday, one of the best high school basketball players in the country, Caleb White passed away at 17 years old after collapsing during a morning workout with his team.

In a post on Facebook, his grandfather George Varnadoe Jr. wrote, "My grandson, Caleb White was working out with his team a short while ago. He collapsed on the floor, they tried resuscitating him." He continued, "When that didn’t work, he was then transported to the hospital. The doctor’s [sic] couldn’t revive him."

According to WVTM, White was on the third day of his senior year at Pinson Valley High School in Pinson, Alabama, when the incident occurred. Jefferson County Schools Superintendent Dr. Walter Gonsoulin said a school nurse immediately "sprang into action to try and save this young man's life. Also providing CPR until the emergency group arrived.”

Varnadoe Jr described White as "an honor student, very respectful, high intellect, excellent role model, phenomenal basketball player ranked 25th best point guard in his class in the nation & number 2 in the state of Alabama."

In a follow-up post, he said, "Our whole family was really looking forward to his upcoming senior season and afterward, playing for a D-1 school and then perhaps the NBA." Varnadoe Jr. added, "But… 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," He concluded. 

In a post on Facebook, Pinson Mayor Joe Cochran said, "Heartbroken. No words can be gathered to provide comfort to a family and community experiencing the loss of young life." He continued, "Please lift Caleb’s family and friends along with the entire PVHS community in prayer for the hours, weeks, months and years ahead. I was honored to know Caleb personally and loved the spirit he carried. Life is fleeting, enjoy every day as the treasure it is, I know Caleb did."

White's family said he died from cardiac arrest, but his official cause of death will not be known until an autopsy is complete. 

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